PRAGUE – A cap on wholesale gas prices is the best option for dealing with the huge price fluctuations in the natural gas market, Environment and Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas reiterated at a meeting of the informal Council of European Energy Ministers held on Wednesday in Prague, while stating that Europe must take immediate decisions to secure adequate supplies and reduce prices.
The agenda of the Council concerned the next steps to be taken by the member states to deal with high energy prices, as described in the letter of the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, to the EU leaders and the proposed reforms in the electricity market.
Skrekas underlined that, although increased quantities of natural gas are coming to the EU, prices are skyrocketing and “this means that the markets are not working properly and availability is not a matter of price but of infrastructure adequacy.”
The Greek side called for a variable upper limit to the TTF index that would ensure natural gas is only marginally more expensive than in Asia and other regions, and not double the price paid on other continents.
The minister pointed out that the proposal of 15 member-states ensures that there will be no shortages in most member-states. “Price is just as important as availability, as some consumers and households cannot afford to buy gas at high prices. As they will not be able to cope with these conditions, their situation will be equivalent to cutting off the flow of natural gas.”