On Friday, EU countries will discuss measures to counter rising electricity prices. The European Commission’s proposals also include a price cap for Russian gas imports. “The goal here is very clear. We need to reduce Russia’s income, which Putin uses to finance his brutal war against Ukraine,” said Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But in many Member States there is great concern that Russia will then stop supplying gas. The industry also warns.
The industrialists’ association fears that such a measure “would mean a de facto ban on the import of Russian gas through the back door”. “Accordingly, the IV advises the Austrian government to also take a firm stance against the proposed quasi-gas embargo on Friday,” a broadcast on Wednesday said. The skimming of “excess profits” planned by the EU is also criticized, “because time would be lost unnecessarily.” In many sectors, the situation for companies is already deteriorating, so quick solutions are needed.
The IV takes a more positive view of the ideas of the Czech Council Presidency. It proposes a pan-European subsidy for gas for electricity generation and a temporary suspension of CO2 pricing in emissions trading. The latter would be “instantly and precisely effective for the most affected companies,” according to the advocacy group. Furthermore, the IV is in favor of an adjustment of the European rules on state aid. This could ease the cost burden for all affected sectors and those affected by international competition.
Paper industry warns of factory closures
The association of the domestic paper industry, Austropapier, was already concerned about the gas price cap planned by the EU. For Russia, this could be seen as an escalation by the EU and lead to a reduction or complete cessation of gas supplies, the association fears. Shutdowns and factory closures would then be inevitable.
In the food trade, however, the call for a reduction in energy costs for companies is growing louder. Smaller grocers in particular could no longer cope with the cost increases.
I’m Wayne Wickman, a professional journalist and author for Today Times Live. My specialty is covering global news and current events, offering readers a unique perspective on the world’s most pressing issues. I’m passionate about storytelling and helping people stay informed on the goings-on of our planet.