Gas price ceiling not seen, focus on low-interest lending

A proposal for a European price ceiling on natural gas is regarded, by European Commission officials, as an energy-crisis measure that cannot be implemented, while other proposals, concerning the electricity sector, such as taxation of excessive profits and an earnings limit per MWh produced, appear more likely to be considered at this week’s European summit in Brussels, scheduled for March 24 and 25, energypress sources have informed.

A decision on a new support package offering subsidies to EU member states, along the lines of the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), designed to support economies through the pandemic, is not expected to be reached at this stage, the sources noted.

Instead, summit officials are expected to focus on a low-interest lending program for EU member states, as a means of funding energy-crisis support packages, echoing the SURE job-protection program offered at the peak of the pandemic.

Low-cost borrowing certainly promises energy-crisis support, however, such a course ultimately still adds to public debt, a concern for a country such as Greece, still being continuously monitored by markets as a result of the country’s debt figure, at 355 billion euros, resulting in one of the world’s highest debt-to-GDP ratios.