calls for EU action on soaring energy prices | Money
LUXEMBOURG, October 4 – Several EU member states today called for joint European action to tackle record high energy prices, but unity on what to do was elusive.
France and Spain led the charge at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Luxembourg, on the eve of an expected presentation of proposals for certain short-term solutions from the European Commission.
“The price of gas has risen massively and sharply in recent weeks,” French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said upon arriving for the talks.
“It’s time for a European response” to the price shock, Le Maire said, adding that the French government had already ordered its own emergency gas and electricity price caps.
Spain proposes that the EU make “group purchases” of gas in order to increase the bloc’s bargaining power in the face of soaring energy prices.
Greece has offered to set up an EU fund to help countries overcome a squeeze in energy prices, while France wants electricity prices to be decoupled from gas prices in the EU.
The call for EU-wide measures, however, will meet resistance from some Member States, notably Germany and the Netherlands, which are generally opposed to intervention by the authorities in the open European market. Energy.
“I don’t see at least one large-scale market failure that needs to be fixed, I think the market is working,” an EU diplomat said on condition of anonymity.
Germany is also reluctant to give up its relations with Russia for its natural gas supplies, despite calls from other EU countries to turn away from Moscow as an energy source.
The debate has become all the more urgent as many fear that Europe’s commitment to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050 will squeeze citizens with higher energy prices, jeopardizing ambition. green of the block.
“I hope that the European institutions will take decisive and urgent measures to resolve this problem and to ensure that the process, the green transition process is as smooth and fair as possible,” said Spanish Minister of the Economy, Nadia. Calvino.
Climate concern has also intensified the debate on the safety of nuclear energy as an energy source, with French Le Maire insisting that to “succeed with climate change, we need nuclear energy”.
Germany, Austria and Luxembourg are fiercely opposed, all of whom believe that the dangers of nuclear energy, as the Chernobyl and Fukushima disasters demonstrated, are too great to ignore. – AFP