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Energy prices: Social association calls for relief, EU ministers remain divided

2021-10-26T10:14:52.547Z

Energy prices will rise so sharply this autumn and winter that many low-wage earners are likely to be overwhelmed. Some have to choose between a decent meal and warmth, warns the social association VdK.



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Gas meters: energy ministers advise in Luxembourg

Photo: Jan Woitas / dpa

Because energy prices are rising and winter is approaching, the social association VdK is calling for relief for low-wage earners.

In view of the significantly rising heating costs, people with little money would "often no longer be able to pay the annual bill," said chairwoman Verena Bentele in an interview with the "Passauer Neue Presse".

"Then for some the question arises: Either eat something decent or live in a warm apartment."

Neither the Hartz IV standard rates nor the housing costs paid by the office reflected the price increase, said Bentele.

"Therefore, the current and the new federal government must come up with something to help people with little money directly." From Bentele's point of view, "a one-time grant for households with little money, as is currently being planned in other countries" would be possible.

EU energy ministers discuss rising prices

Rising energy prices are also the subject of a special meeting of EU energy ministers in Luxembourg.

How the high prices are to be combated is controversial within the Union, partly because the countries are affected to different degrees.

Spain, for example, wants to revise the system of how prices are created on the wholesale market for electricity.

Madrid hopes that the electricity price will be less dependent on a sharp rise in gas prices.

Then consumers could also feel the benefits of a sustainable energy mix, said the Spanish State Secretary for Energy Sara Aagesen Muñoz before the special meeting.

Spain also proposes the joint purchase and storage of gas.

France and other southern European countries recently supported these proposals.

Disagreement over the proposed solutions

Countries like Germany or Luxembourg, on the other hand, rely on market economy solutions.

In a paper with seven other countries they spoke out against reforming the electricity market.

Instead, one must better connect the European energy markets and invest in renewable energies, said the Luxembourg energy minister Claude Turmes.

The German State Secretary Andreas Feicht also spoke out in favor of an accelerated expansion of renewable energies and more energy efficiency.

In this way, one could "reduce the EU's dependence on imports and at the same time make a valuable contribution to the decarbonization of our economy."

Poland and Hungary, among others, also make measures of the EU climate package such as trading in CO2 certificates jointly responsible for the price increase.

jlk / dpa / Reuters

Source: spiegel

All business articles on 2021-10-26

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