Italian minister shares details of EU gas price cap plan

The European Commission is expected to present a proposal on the measure as early as this month

The European Commission is expected to submit a proposal this month to impose a general price cap on all gas imports, Italian Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said in an interview with La Repubblica newspaper on Saturday.

According to the minister, the gas price cap plan has already been sketched out and so far has been supported by 15 member states, including Germany.

“The proposal will be published in September. We are currently working to have a majority to support him,” said Cingolani.

Gas prices across the bloc have been rising rapidly for several months due to sanctions imposed on Russia over its dispute with Ukraine, as well as a cut in supply from Moscow.

EU leaders had previously announced their intention to reduce gas consumption by 15% from August 1 to the end of March 2023. Member states have discretion as to the specific measures adopted to achieve the reduction.

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Policymakers within the bloc are also drawing up a plan to tackle the energy crisis before the next winter season.

Earlier this week, Politico reported that the measures proposed by the European Commission include price caps on Russian gas imports, reduced energy consumption, support for utility companies and the imposition of a tax on fossil fuel companies that make large profits. The package would be approved on September 14.

According to the Financial Times, at least ten EU countries are pushing for price caps on imports from all suppliers, not just Russia. Italy, Poland and Greece have reportedly come out against the plan to limit Russian gas prices only, proposed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Meanwhile, Hungary, Austria and the Netherlands are not in favor of imposing price caps.

Brussels fears that Russia will stop its gas deliveries in the event of a price cap. Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would stop oil and gas shipments to countries that make political decisions in violation of contractual obligations.

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