The European Commission proposes the introduction of a ceiling on the price of gas at 275 euros per megawatt hour. A “last resort” intervention on the TTF market – the Amsterdam gas exchange – which can only be activated in the face of “extraordinarily high” gas prices.
But the EU proposal is structurally weak, evidently due to the opposition of Germania e When. The quota of 275 euros for two consecutive weeks has in fact never been reached, the risk is that it is a flag measure with no real possibility of application. So much so that it has received criticism from as many as 15 European countries, including Italy.
Today the European Council on gas
Today in Brussels European energy ministers are meeting with the aim of agreeing on the latest proposals put forward by the European Commission to deal with the increase in prices. But many countries, including Italy, Spain and France, have more or less explicitly rejected the move by the von der Leyen executive.
“Among the critical countries, there is the sharing of not adhering to the proposal presented to the European Commission and of evaluating overall both the Commission’s proposal on the price cap and the other terms of the agreement, which may concern the other issues solidarity , transparency, but all in one block. So we will keep our position on this and we will see during this morning’s Council”, explains the Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratinon the sidelines of the Council.
The critical countries “are 15”, explains Pichetto. The strategy is therefore “to treat the whole package”, he explains, therefore “on some issues there may very well be agreement”, but “the question is that we want to treat everything as a whole”. Therefore, in practice, in the absence of the price ceiling, not even the provision on gas solidarity, which Germany is very fond of, will pass; on this he leveraged Mario Draghi in the October European Council to force Berlin to give in and to include the price cap in the conclusions.
The ceiling ‘created’ by the von der Leyen Commission is so high that it would not have been triggered even last August, when methane prices shot up to well over 300 euros per megawatt hour for a handful of sessions. The most explicit was the Spanish minister Teresa Ribera, who in no uncertain terms defined the Commission’s proposal as a “mockery”.