European Union finance ministers are discussing soaring energy prices at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (4/10). High wholesale prices for gas and electricity across Europe have raised the prospect of a hike in already high utility bills and inflicted further suffering on those who have been hit financially by the coronavirus pandemic.
Countries are scrambling to find ways to limit costs to consumers as scant natural gas reserves pose another problem, leaving the continent experiencing higher price spikes and possible shortages in winter.
Spain’s Minister of Economy and Digital Transformation Nadia Calvino told reporters, “What we are seeing is an unprecedented spike in energy prices, caused by a variety of reasons, but closely related to the evolution of energy markets in international markets. This is not a problem we can tackle at the national level.
He added, “We think we need a coordinated European response that could include a number of options. We have made various proposals available. Several other member states are also joining in on this effort, and I hope that European institutions will take decisive and urgent action to address this.” this, and to ensure that the process, the green transition process, is as smooth and fair as possible.”
According to a study by labor organizations released last Wednesday (29/9), nearly three million workers in the European Union are unable to warm their homes amid rising energy prices.
The European Union Confederation of Trade Unions – which represents 45 million members – says 15% of the working poor in the European Union, or the equivalent of 2,713,578 people, do not have enough money to turn on heating at home. [em/lt]