Pichetto Fratin follows in the footsteps left by Draghi and continues in the fight for the gas price cap, still unattainable due to internal discord within the EU.
The minister Piquet Fratin has no intention of giving up: the roof al gas price must be fixed, and also quickly, above all given that now the heating is on and gas is used much more. It matters little if not all Member States agree.
Most of the EU countries critical of the European Commission’s gas price ceiling proposal, which are fifteen in total, have decided to treat the entire package on the table at the Energy Council as a single block. The Minister of the Environment and Energy Security Gilberto explains it Piquet Fratin, on the sidelines of the extraordinary Energy Council held today in Brussels. “We have just finished a meeting – he says – between the countries critical of the Commission’s proposal. There is sharing of not to adhere to the proposal presented to the European Commission and to comprehensively evaluate both the Commission’s proposal on the price cap and the other terms of the agreement, which may concern the other issues, solidarity, transparency, but all in a single block. “So we’ll keep our position on this and see.”
There are 15 critical countries, as specified by Pichetto. So the strategy is treat the whole package, he explains, therefore “on some issues there may very well be agreement, but the question is that we want to treat everything as a whole”. Therefore, in practice, in the absence of the price ceiling, not even the provision on gas solidarity, which Germany is very fond of, will pass; Mario Draghi leveraged this on in the October European Council to force Berlin to give in and include the price cap in the conclusions.
The market correction mechanism «as it is, we don’t vote for it. It is not a question of numbers, but of criteria. It is about finding a point of convergence. I myself told the table that we can even do without setting a ceiling, if the criteria are clear to achieve the goal we pursue, intervene to avoid speculation and the explosion in gas prices”. This was stated by the Minister of Energy Security Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, on the sidelines of the Council.CopyAMP code.
«From the climate that was in the council chamber I can say yes, that an agreement on the price cap can be reached in the next extraordinary Energy Council, which will probably be held on December 13th» said Pichetto Fratin. «Because – he continues – there is all the will, on the part of all countries, to reach the objective of an agreement. Of course, the agreement must be on a provision that has criteria that make it effective, criteria that must be the result of mediation between the parties. When I say criteria and not numbers, I mean mechanisms that automatically block the ceiling if the price fluctuates excessively with respect to the LNG and the anchorages that are given».
Today, Pichetto confirms, he has found himself political agreement on the content of the regulations on solidarity in the field of gas and renewables, without approving them. Now on the gas price ceiling «there is a basic document: Italy’s position was that it did not share the approach given by the Commission. The document remains everyone’s commitment to achieve convergence and agreement on the price front,” he continued.
The technicians of the EU member countries are already in contact to cross-examine their hypotheses to reach a compromise on the price cap for gas. «There is a willingness on the part of the opposing fronts – explains the minister – to reach an agreement on the gas price ceiling, in a climate of extreme equilibrium. And I don’t think the Commission has been too close to the positions of Germany and Holland. Now at least there’s a draft to work from. Indeed, already today the technicians of the various countries are in contact with each other to cross-reference their hypotheses» concluded the minister.