Germany is not blocking EU energy solution but is ‘sceptical’, minister says
BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is not standing in the way of the European Union’s solution to the energy crisis, Economy Minister Robert Habeck told the Handelsblatt daily on Thursday in response to criticism about his country’s stance towards plans for a gas price cap.
“We’re not blocking anything,” he said in an interview with the daily and three European newspapers.
“But I am sceptical when it comes to a fixed price cap in the market, because it would be either too high or too low,” he said.
Member states had already agreed on “a flexible, dynamic and clever cap in times of excessive profits” in Prague, he added.
On Tuesday, the European Union executive proposed a gas price cap for the bloc at 275 euros ($286.91) per megawatt hour for month-ahead derivatives on the Dutch exchange that serves as Europe’s benchmark.
The idea of such a cap has divided EU countries for months, with a small but powerful camp of member nations, led by Germany, opposed to the intervention.
Diplomats have said the proposed level was unlikely to be popular when energy ministers of the bloc’s 27 members debate it on Thursday.
(Writing by Miranda Murray; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)