German and Dutch blockades prevent EU from setting maximum price for imported gas


“We can’t stop here. We are in an energy war with Russia, winter is coming, we must act now.I hope the European Commission present Extra measures as soon as possible“, the Czech energy minister said, Joseph Siclain the capacity of the EU rotating presidency.

At a special meeting on Friday, 27 energy ministers approved a New package of emergency measures Responding to the Energy Crisis. The regulations include a Force a 5% cut in electricity usage During peak hours, cap gains from low-cost technologies (renewables and nuclear) and tax oil companies.

Although this plan is progressing rapidly (Submitted by Ursula von der Leyen on Sep 14), most energy ministers acknowledged New measures not enough to immediately lower final bill Consumers pay and demand more advice from Brussels. The new target is to intervene in the gas market, although member states are divided on how to do so.

[La UE aprueba recortar un 5% el consumo de luz y gravar los beneficios de las energéticas para rebajar la factura]

Specifically, Blockade Germany and the Netherlands Prevent the EU from capping the price of natural gas imported from third countries.there is a measure Broad support from other Member States: Spain and 14 other countries signed a joint letter saying the cap “will help ease inflationary pressures” and “limit additional profits for the industry”.

However, the committee Ursula Von der Leyen It aligns with the arguments of the Germans and Dutch and refuses to set a maximum price for all imported gas. energy commissioner, Kadri Simson, again argued that the cap should only apply to Russian gas, including gas arriving via pipelines and LNG. That would limit the Kremlin’s ability to finance the war in Ukraine.

Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson at a press conference this Friday


Together with other partners such as Norway or Algeria, The EU must negotiate price cuts together, but not impose them. Imposing sweeping restrictions on all imported gas “would effectively shut down the European gas market and create supply security risks,” Simson said. LNG producers can move their cargoes to Asia in search of better prices.Brussels isn’t completely closing the door on setting a maximum price, but demands A mandatory cut in consumption of more than 15% has been agreed.

The Czech president and several member states have criticized the reluctance and hesitation of the Community Executive Committee, as well as its delay in proposing measures. “We have to keep working. We have to do it urgently. What we have on the table today is not enough. We would like the committee to provide us with a more complete proposalcomplained Teresa Ribera, the third vice president.

[Ribera critica que la Comisión Europea “se queda corta” en sus propuestas para intervenir el precio del gas]

We have asked to consider the risk of inaction, the potential impact on domestic consumers (especially industrial consumers) of not introducing a cap on gas entering the EU. From our point of view, This can lead to serious demand destruction issues The only way to fix this is through the general budgets of the states which are unreasonable,” Ribera insisted.

“If we don’t put restrictions on gas, we might have Significant impact on EU GDPon industrial production and consumers,” insisted the Third Vice-President. In her view, The priority should be to develop an alternative index to the Dutch TTF, Now is the one that sets the price but no longer reflects the reality of the market.

German Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck at a meeting in Brussels on Friday

German Deputy Chancellor Robert Habeck at a meeting in Brussels on Friday


France also supports a general cap on imported gas prices, but also claims to be able to Benefit from the “Iberian exception” already applied in Spain and Portugal“We can reduce electricity prices quickly. This will extend the Iberian mechanism to the whole of Europe. I know people are reluctant to such a mechanism, but we have worked on it technically. We know how to avoid excess gas consumption and We know you can get up and running quickly. This is the kind of signal that companies need,” said Agnés Pannier-Runacher, France’s Minister of Energy Transition.

But Germany opposes both the “Europeanization” of the “Iberian exception” and a cap on the price of imported natural gas. “Fixed caps on gas prices only if explained What Happens If Not Enough Gas Gets Into Europe. because that’s my problem,” said the German deputy chancellor, Robert Harbeck.

The meeting room during the special meeting of EU energy ministers this Friday

The meeting room during the special meeting of EU energy ministers this Friday


“And the only answer I always hear is Shortages will be spread across Europe. But I don’t think it’s politically sustainable. This is going to push Europe to its limits, probably to the end,” Habeck said. As for the Iberian mechanism, Berlin doubts it works ‘perfectly’ Because gas prices have risen, and he doesn’t think it constitutes a “compelling model” that can be applied across Europe.

under any circumstances, Germany just approved huge aid for energy crisis (200 billion euros) They alarmed other partners, who accused Berlin of waging war of its own, distorting competition and putting the single European market at risk. Other member states do not have the budget to deploy the bazooka, which is why they are calling for a European solution.

The toughest was outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, who issued a statement that did not directly name Germany and called for “avoiding dangerous and unreasonable distortions in the internal market and maintaining Europe in an emergency. Unite again”. “Faced with the common threats of our time, We cannot divide ourselves according to the margins of the state budgetDraghi condemned.

Russian-Ukrainian War



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