So its NOT just the UK! EU faces gas price shock – bloc powerless to stop crisis

Merkel ‘under pressure’ to put Nord Stream 2 on hold says expert

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Greece’s energy minister has warned of an international energy crisis, with politicians raising the alarm across the EU. Consumers in Italy are now paying up to a third more for energy than they did during the summer, with a similar picture emerging in France where customers pay approximately 10 percent more than in recent months.

EU ministers are meeting this week to revisit EU energy policy and discuss gas shortages.

Over the last two years, carbon prices have more than doubled in line with the EU doubling down on its climate policy, according to Bloomberg.

The Guardian has also reported that since the beginning of 2021, wholesale gas prices in Europe have risen by 250 percent.

Natural gas prices have been climbing for a while, with the average European gas price tripling since mid-2021.

European experts warn of further price increases and have voiced fears about winter energy supplies.

Against this backdrop, the European Commission is under mounting pressure to tackle rising energy prices.

Spanish ministers have asked the European Commission to set out guidelines for how member states can react to the sharp price increases, and pushed for a coherent response from the EU.

The Spanish ministers for the Economy and the Environment said in a letter to the European Commission: “We urgently need a European policy menu pre-designed to react immediately to dramatic price surges.

European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has warned that the transition to renewable energy sources in Europe must speed up.

She added that the European Commission was “discussing what tools are at our disposal” to address gas price hikes.

Her comment comes in the context of the Nord Stream 2, a controversial new gas pipeline which will run from Russia to Europe via the Baltic Sea.

Already completed, it is pending approval in Germany before it can supply any gas.

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Russia provides over 40 percent of the EU’s gas supply, but MEPs have called for investigations into Russia’s gas supply over suspected market manipulation.

These MEPs were suspicious of “efforts to pressure” Europe into approving the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, according to the Guardian.

Some energy institutes predict the demand for natural gas will decrease steadily over the next few years, taking into consideration pushes towards carbon neutrality and the European Green Deal.

This, they argue, will also reduce the need for Europe to rely on Russia for energy supplies.

However, not everyone agrees.

Others in Brussels contend that once the Nord Stream 2 pipeline is in operation, gas prices may well stabilise in Europe.

Gas prices are also driving inflation in EU countries, according to Eurostat.

Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg.

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