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EU countries split over joint response to energy price spike By Reuters


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A gasoline burner is pictured on a cooker in a personal residence in Bordeaux, soutwestern France, December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

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By Kate Abnett

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) -European Union nations did not agree on a bloc-wide response to surging vitality costs in an emergency assembly of presidency ministers on Tuesday, with some nations searching for a regulatory overhaul and others firmly opposed.

European gasoline costs have hit document highs this autumn and stay at lofty ranges, prompting most EU nations to reply with emergency measures like worth caps and subsidies to assist trim shopper vitality payments.

Nations are struggling to agree nonetheless on a longer-term plan to cushion in opposition to fossil-fuel worth swings, which Spain, France, the Czech Republic and Greece say warrant a much bigger shake-up of the best way EU vitality markets work.

“There was no agreed place on whether or not or not intervention measures must be adopted on the EU degree and utilized in all member states,” Slovenian infrastructure minister Jernej Vrtovec, whose nation holds the EU presidency, stated after the assembly.

Spain made the case in Tuesday’s assembly for joint gasoline purchases by EU nations and proposed that particular person nations ought to be capable of decide out of the EU’s present system of setting electrical energy costs.

These proposals confronted resistance from different nations, who’re cautious of overhauling EU vitality legal guidelines in response to what they are saying is a short-term worth crunch.

9 states together with Germany – Europe’s largest economic system and marketplace for electrical energy – printed a joint assertion forward of the assembly that stated they’d not assist EU electrical energy market reforms.

“This is not going to be a treatment to mitigate the present rising vitality costs linked to fossil fuels markets,” the nations stated.

JOINT GAS BUYING

The European Fee is analysing the design of Europe’s electrical energy market and gathering proof on the behaviour of gasoline suppliers after some nations accused Russia’s Gazprom (MCX:) of manipulating the market to push up costs.

The Fee may also assess the professionals and cons of joint gasoline shopping for amongst EU nations.

“There are a lot of points to be thought of – who pays for the prices of procuring and storing the gasoline, how the gasoline will likely be transported from the completely different areas,” EU vitality commissioner Kadri Simson stated.

Luxembourg vitality minister Claude Turmes stated Spain was “over-promising by saying joint gasoline procurement will remedy the disaster”.

With lower than every week till the worldwide COP26 local weather change summit, the vitality worth spike has additionally stoked tensions amongst EU nations as they put together to barter a raft of latest insurance policies to deal with local weather change, together with greater tax charges for polluting fuels.

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban final week dismissed the plans as a “utopian fantasy”, a stance at odds with different states who say excessive fossil gas costs ought to set off a quicker swap to low-emission, domestically produced renewable vitality.

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