Prime Minister Florin Cîțu announced on Wednesday that the government had discussed the issue of capping gas prices, saying that the Ministry of Energy and the Competition Council will have a discussion on this matter with the European Commission. Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister said he would not intervene in the price cap.
“We have had discussions about the gas price cap. We have introduced this issue for discussion in the government. The minister together with the Competition Council will also discuss with the European Commission. There are several options we are thinking about. We wanted to have this option. We are looking for the best solutions for this period when energy and gas prices have risen. For domestic and non-household consumers in particular until 31 March,” the Prime Minister said.
He said there is a special situation that requires special measures.
“We have only now started to look at this solution as well. We already have a solution for compensation. And we want to make sure that especially non-household and household customers, SMEs and individuals, will not pay the whole bill this winter. We have the solutions, we just need to think about the simplest form. As far as the gas cap is concerned, we are looking at this solution, but for me it is important not to distort the market too much. The moment you introduce such a measure, you distort the market, the motivation to invest disappears for companies. I want to see how we take this measure so that it is as non-invasive as possible. We have to recognise that there is a special situation at the moment that requires special measures,” said Cîțu.
We recall that two weeks ago Prime Minister Florin Cîțu said he would not intervene to cap energy prices.
“I can tell you in no uncertain terms that we will not intervene to cap prices,” Florin Cîțu said on 31 August.
Now the prime minister has explained why he has changed his mind, saying that other EU countries are also talking about price caps.
“This is what I see at the European level, there are 6 countries talking about price caps. If they cap prices in all EU countries and only Romania is left with the highest prices, it would be strange if we are the country with the highest price and we bear all the costs in this market. It is no longer a free market then. If we already have countries capping prices, Romania can’t stand by and watch. That’s the difference between then and now,” the Prime Minister explained.
It should be recalled that energy prices have already been capped by the famous Ordinance 114, adopted by the PSD government. And the PNL government led by Ludovic Orban, in which Florin Cîțu was finance minister, adopted changes to phase out capped prices and liberalise the market. Florin Cîțu said this was the ordinance that “destabilized Romania’s economy”.
The PSD also announced on Wednesday that it would table “today or tomorrow” a bill to cap energy prices in Romania, said Mihai Tudose, vice-president of the Social Democrats.