Canada: Gas prices: why the cloth burns between the European Commission and Paris

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Paris denounces an unrealistic aid mechanism, while the European Commission offers a gas price ceiling device whose activation conditions are very strict.

Infrastructures gazières à Lubmin, dans le nord-est de l'Allemagne, le 30 août 2022 © Andersen Infrastructures Gazières in Lubmin, northeast of Germany, August 30, 2022

for the Ministry of French Ecological Transition, the solution proposed by Brussels upwards prices 'Energy is a "political display text", in the words of the cabinet of Agnès Pannier-Runacher, which could even have "perverse or zero effects". But certainly not helping French cities whose mayors are "taken by throat" in the face of the "delusional energy prices", as Emmanuel Macron pointed out on Wednesday during the visit to the Salon des Mayors.

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of the unattainable conditions

The previous day, and after two months of internal struggle, the European Commission had unveiled its long -awaited proposal for a temporary mechanism, supposed to allow the wholesale prices on the EU gas market. The drastic conditions imposed by Brussels, supposed to have the effect of rallying the Member States reluctant to this type of aid device, were immediately criticized.

The device proposed by Brussels consists in capping for one year the prices of monthly contracts. It would automatically set up as soon as these prices exceed 275 euros per megawatt hour (MWH) for two consecutive weeks. Additional condition: the price must be 58 euros higher than a "average reference world price" of liquefied natural gas (LNG) for ten days.

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Conditions far removed from the reality experienced by many countries currently: monthly contracts have exceeded 275 euros/MWh this year that during a very brief period of a few days at the end of August, when the twenty-seven competed To fill their reservations. Very below the two weeks required. And the prices are currently evolving around 120 euros/MWh, which already has catastrophic repercussions on households and businesses.

Madrid threatens to no longer follow

"It is a safety net which is very very very low, you must have made a good free fall before being inside," said the minister's office to AFP, Criticizing an "insufficient, which does not respond to the reality of the market".

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even more severe than Paris, Madrid has made up the proposal and accused Brussels of "paying the head of the world". "What this Proposal will generate is the opposite of the desired effect: it will cause a greater increase in prices, jeopardizing all the control policies "of inflation, denounced the Spanish Minister of the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera . In the absence of a new "serious" text, Spain even threatens to "simply stop supporting the commission's proposals on other important questions for it," she warned.

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Other European ministers also reacted, such as the Greek Konstantinos Skrekas. "At this level, this is not a ceiling! These prices threaten households and businesses, we have lost too much time without results," he said. Her Polish counterpart calls a new text by the European executive "in the coming days". "He does -10 degrees with us, we do not want to continue to discuss on solidarity or renewables, we must discuss now a ceiling for gas prices," she demanded.

The 27 meet to adopt other

tools if the members divide on this specific point, other texts should be approved in the coming days when the energy ministers of the European Union meet at Brussels this Thursday, November 24, to decide on a text strengthening the solidarity of the European block. It provides for grouped gas purchases, a mechanism ensuring that any country threatened with shortage will receive gas from other Member States, and "circuit breaking" to limit the volatility of hydrocarbons prices on the markets.

A second text on the table, also prepared by the Commission, aims, for a period of one year, to simplify and to accelerate the authorizations of installations of heat pumps and solar panels, in order to dopy the production of '"green" electricity. Consensus, these two texts should be applied from the green light from the member states.

inflation goes back a bit - no reason for the all -clear .
small ray of hope for consumers in Germany: For the first time since July, inflation has weakened somewhat. Consumer prices rose by 10 percent in November compared to the previous year, as the Federal Statistical Office announced on Tuesday in an initial estimate. Previously, the annual control rate had increased three months in a row and had reached a value of 10.4 percent in October. © Hauke-Christian Dittrich/dpa carrots and onions are for sale at a weekly market at a weekly market.

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