EU Mulling Rationing Gas Across Bloc as Public Told to Expect Prices to Triple

A worker does routine checks during a press tour at the opening of a gas processing plant using the rich gas resources from the Black Sea, on June 28, 2022 in Vadu, Romania. - The EU looks to reduce its dependency on Russian gas after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine. An …
ANDREI PUNGOVSCHI/AFP via Getty Images

The European Union is considering rationing gas across the bloc in the hopes of fighting shortages this winter, with the public being told to expect a tripling of prices.

As supplies go down and prices go way up, the European Union is now seemingly fearing a breaking point may be soon upon its member states, with the Commission now reportedly penning an emergency rationing plan for if Russia decides to cut countries off from its energy exports entirely.

Meanwhile, the general public is starting to really sweat in Germany, with recent polling suggesting that over 60 per cent of people in the country fear that there will not be enough gas to go around this winter, while the country’s federal gas network agency has told consumers of the fuel to expect prices to triple by 2023.

According to a report by Die Welt, draft EU measures aimed at curbing gas use will include limiting the heating of public and commercial buildings to 19 degrees Celsius, or around 66 degrees Fahrenheit, during the winter months.

Private households will also be heavily encouraged to turn down their thermostats by one degree, in a move echoing suggestions made by some interest groups at the start of the war.

“Acting now can reduce the effects of a sudden supply disruption by a third,” the draft proposal reportedly reads, before also noting that “everyone can now save gas” and that “the higher the reduction through voluntary measures, the less the need for mandatory restrictions for the industry.”

The European measures also say that, while the likes of housing and hospitals will be prioritised in the event of a gas shortage caused by Russia cutting supplies, individual member states within the bloc will be allowed to syphon gas away from these sources to power plants of electricity also becomes an issue.

Die Welt goes on to report that the draft will be presented on Wednesday next week.

While the EU reportedly gets ready to forcibly reduce gas usage throughout the continent, individuals in Germany who use gas to heat their homes appear to be beginning to sweat as massive shortages over winter begin to look more and more likely.

According to polling published by Der Spiegel on Thursday, 63 per cent of the population are afraid that there will be a shortage of gas for private households this coming winter, with that number rising to 67 per cent among women in Germany.

Meanwhile, the country’s Federal Network Agency, which is responsible for the regulation of gas markets in the country, has warned consumers that they need to expect their monthly instalments to triple by 2023.

“By 2023, gas customers will have to expect the instalments to triple, at least,” authority president Klaus Müller reportedly said regarding the issue.

Parts of the German government are now suggesting that the West needs to be open to negotiating with Russia, with a faction of the ruling Social Democratic Party saying that wars rarely end in decisive victories.

“You can’t force such talks,” Der Spiegel reports Bundestag SPD leader Rolf Mützenich as saying. “But if President Putin is willing to hold reliable talks with the heads of state and government of the EU, NATO and Ukraine, that shouldn’t be ruled out in principle.”

“I continue to assume that this war will not be decided by an absolute victory on the battlefield, but in the end only by talks, by negotiations, by agreements,” he went on to say. “We should always be able to use certain signals that indicate a possible ceasefire to re-engage in diplomatic talks.”

“However, such signals have so far been lacking,” he also clarified.

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