Five EU Countries Want Gas Market Investigated to Mitigate Further Price Spikes
07:30 GMT 06.10.2021 (Updated: 17:15 GMT 12.04.2023)
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Spain, France, the Czech Republic, Greece and Romania have called for investigations into possible price gouging of natural gas in the European market in recent months, according to a joint statement issued by the economy and finance ministers of these countries on Wednesday.
"Regarding gas, the functioning of the European gas market should be investigated to understand why current gas contracts have been insufficient. We should also build common guidelines on gas storage in order to mitigate and smooth price increases. In addition, we should better coordinate our gas purchases to increase our bargaining power," the ministers said in a joint statement published on France's Ministry of Economy website.
They also put forward a number of proposals to mitigate the sharp rise in prices in the energy sector. In particular, the ministers believe that a common approach at the European level is needed to immediately respond to price surges.
In addition, it is proposed to reform the EU electricity market in order to improve the ratio between the price paid by consumers and the average cost of electricity production. The countries also stressed the need to focus on energy independence by investing in diversifying energy supplies and reducing Europe's reliance on gas exporting countries as quickly as possible.
The five nations also suggested that it is necessary to ensure more predictable coal prices and avoid excessive volatility.
The European Union has seen a spike in natural gas prices over the past few months, driven by growing energy demand amid an economic recovery from months of lockdowns, and a limited supply. On Tuesday, the price of gas futures in Europe broke a new record, exceeding $1,600 per 1,000 cubic meters