FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
BRUSSELS – The Energy advice extraordinary today, the third since July, promises to be tense with strong divisions between the Member States and the EU Commission. The ceiling on the price of gas imported into the EU will not be on the table of ministers, not among the options contemplated by the Commission despite the request to present a proposal by 15 Member States, including Italy, France, Spain, Poland and Belgium. Among these there is no Germany who, skeptical of the gas price cap, plays his game alone, thanks to his budgetary space: on Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced a shield to curb gas prices, via an investment from 200 billion euros. Among the chancelleries there is discontent, for many the Commission flattened on German positions.
The move of Berlin been criticized by the premier Mario Draghi, which for over six months has been asking Brussels for a ceiling on the price of gas. Faced with the common threats of our times, we cannot divide ourselves according to the space in our national budgets, said Draghi, adding that in the next European Councils the EU countries they must show solidarity, determination, solidarity just as we were in supporting Ukraine. The crisis energy – observed the premier – calls for a response from Europe that will make it possible to reduce costs for families and businesses limit windfall gains made by producers and importers, to avoid dangerous and unjustified distortions of the internal market and to keep Europe united once again in the face of the emergency. The leader of the Brothers of Italy also spoke in the evening, Giorgia Meloni, who after the Berlin announcement spoke by telephone with Draghi. For Meloni no Member State can offer solutions effective and long-term alone in the absence of a common strategy, not even those who appear less financially vulnerable. The winner of the election wished it to the council Power common sense and timeliness prevail today. For the leader of the Lega Matteo Salviniinstead, it is urgent to intervene in Italy too, otherwise our companies will no longer be able to compete and work.
According to the Commission, the ceiling on the price of gas imported into the EU a radical measure that entails significant risks linked to the security of energy supplies.
In the informal document that will be on the table of ministers today – next week I will present a action plan – the community executive proposes solutions that burden the national budgets: a ceiling on the price of gas destined for electricity generation (on the model of that used by Spain and Portugal) and a ceiling on the price of Russian gas, which now accounts for only 9% of EU consumption (after the Nord Stream sabotage, the methane arriving at Tarvisio will in fact affect). With suppliers deemed reliable, however, the Commission proposes that the EU commit itself to reach in a reasonable time an understanding common to reduce prices, safeguarding security of supply and developing stable long-term energy partnerships. It also proposes to develop a new benchmark for the liquefied natural gas based on transactions instead of Ttf of Amsterdam, the value currently used as a reference for establishing the price of gas in Europe. According to an EU source, the Commission’s proposal is one assessment balances, advantages and risks: I do not think we are saying no to 15 member countries – he explained – let’s say that it is better to put a price cap on Russian gas and negotiate prices with individual suppliers, because our mission is to find measures that are effective for all countries. The issue will certainly also be addressed by EU leaders at the informal European Council in Prague on 7 October next.
Today, however, the regulation of the Council introducing cuts in the consumption of electricity, with greater flexibility for States than the original proposal, limits on extra-revenues for those who produce electricity from low-cost sources such as renewables, nuclear and coal, a contribution of solidarity for oil & gas companies.