European countries take steps to tackle energy crisis amid mounting pressures on Russian gas supplies. The reduction of the heating temperature in Italy, the exchange of gas for electricity between France and Germany and a new aid package from Portugal are some of them.
The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, reiterated this Tuesday, September 6, a warning that had already been issued for months: “Europe has to prepare for the worst case scenario: a total cutoff of Russian gas supplies this winter.”
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. Nobody knows… (Russian President Vladimir) Putin probably doesn’t even know what steps he’s going to take, but most likely a total cut of Russian gas to Europe,” the Spanish leader said during a speech before the Upper House of Parliament.
Europe’s energy crisis has meant skyrocketing prices and fears of recession. As Russia cuts back natural gas to Europe amid the war in Ukraine, @AP explains government efforts to ease the impact and get ready for winter. https://t.co/y7Njb8hPP7
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 6, 2022
With alarm bells ringing, here are some of the policies that have been announced to help protect consumers from the possibility of Russia cutting off gas supplies entirely in response to sanctions imposed over the war in Ukraine:
European Comission: In July, it asked the 27 member states to voluntarily reduce gas demand by 15% this winter, with possible mandatory cuts. The block also aims to recharge gas storage facilities to 80% capacity by November 1.
Italy: The Government approved lowering the heating -in winter- in buildings by one degree, from 17 degrees with more or less 2 degrees of tolerance for buildings intended for industrial, craft and similar activities, and from 19 degrees for all others buildings.
France: The Gallic country promised to limit the increase in the costs of regulated electricity to 4%. In addition, it will increase its gas and electricity exchanges with Spain and Germany. The Government of Emmanuel Macron believes that a 10% saving in energy would avoid rationing.
Avec l’Allemagne, nous serons solidaires en renforçant nos échanges de gaz et d’électricité. We defend the mise en œuvre of a European mechanism that contributes energy producers where the production councils are well below the price of the march. pic.twitter.com/3C4HwzFsdg
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) September 5, 2022
Germany: Formal workers will receive a single bonus for energy consumption of 300 euros and families will have a single bonus of 100 euros per child, which is doubled for those with low incomes.
However, households will have to pay almost 500 euros a year more on their bill from next October 1, after a tax was introduced to help utilities cover the cost of replacing Russian supplies.
Spain: It began temporarily subsidizing the energy costs of fossil fuel plants in an attempt to reduce high prices in the short term. He also cut taxes to lower consumer bills and announced €16 billion in direct aid and soft loans to help businesses and households weather higher energy prices.
Portugal: Prime Minister António Costa presented a 2.4 billion euro package to help households cope with rising prices, including a cut in the energy tax. It will offer a single payment worth €125, plus €50 per child, to each person who earns up to €2,700 gross per month.
United Kingdom: The newly installed Prime Minister, Liz Truss, plans to freeze household energy bills for this winter and next, according to the London ‘BBC’, a plan that could cost up to 150,000 million dollars.
Bulgaria: It introduced a discount of 0.12 dollars per liter of gasoline, diesel, liquefied petroleum gas and methane from July to the end of the year for households, and eliminated special taxes on natural gas, electricity and methane.
Denmark: In June, lawmakers agreed to a cash handout to seniors and other measures totaling $439 million to cushion the impact of runaway inflation.
Greece: The government has spent around €8 billion on energy subsidies and other measures since September 2021. It recently announced that it will double those subsidies.
Poland: He has announced tax cuts on energy, gasoline and food staples, as well as cash donations for households. It also extended regulated gas prices for homes and institutions like schools and hospitals until 2027.
With Reuters and EFE