Marcel Ciolacu proposes capping energy prices for state-owned companies, as France did / “It is not acceptable to deregulate prices in the middle of a pandemic”

Redacția ian. 17, 2022 0 comentarii

PSD President Marcel Ciolacu proposed on Monday, ahead of a coalition discussion on the crisis of huge energy bills, a price cap for state-owned companies, following the French model.

“There are several options, including what happened in France with the capping of energy prices at state companies, at the largest state company. It is a measure we could take. Once we have a final decision taken in coalition we will come and see. The Minister of Energy, ANRE representatives, ANPC representatives will also be invited to the coalition meeting”, said Marcel Ciolacu.

The government in Paris on Thursday ordered utility company Electricite de France SA, in which the French state is the majority shareholder, to sell rivals more electricity at a fixed price, in a bid to lower bills for end consumers.

Ciolacu said the package of measures on electricity and gas prices is finalized and will be discussed at the coalition meeting at 5pm.

“We have finalized the whole package of measures, on all three components, so as to stop this escalation of prices, to cheapen the bills both to the population and to the economy and, last but not least, to try to compensate from the state budget, as much as the state budget can afford, so as not to affect the investment area and what we have set for this year. We have these measures finalized, we are discussing them now, at 10.00 am, with the members of the Government on the PSD side, with the National Permanent Bureau, and, at 5.00 pm, in the coalition. We had discussions including yesterday with the Prime Minister and the day before yesterday with President Cîțu, so we have worked until now,” Ciolacu said at the PSD headquarters, before the meeting of the party’s National Permanent Bureau, Agerpres reports.

He added that the reduction of VAT from 19% to 5% on electricity and gas “is bearable for the state budget” and that he maintains his opinion that this measure should be taken from 1 February.

As for who is to blame for the price crisis, Marcel Ciolacu said he did not think this was important at the moment.

“We see that all of Europe and beyond is affected. I don’t think the most important thing now is to find out who is to blame,” he said.

The PSD leader also hinted that he does not agree with the liberalization of energy prices. “A personal opinion: it is not allowed to liberalize the price in the middle of a pandemic without thinking about the effects that will follow,” he said. The natural gas market was fully liberalized from 1 July 2020 and the electricity market was liberalized from 1 January 2021.

The governing coalition will meet in parliament on Monday evening to discuss energy measures. According to G4Media sources, in the meeting at 17:00 the PSD will put forward several proposals aimed at halting price rises and lowering bills for both the population and the economy – SMEs and large companies, critical infrastructure – CFR, Metrorex and public institutions – hospitals, schools.

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