Italy’s costs of importing energy will double to 100 billion euros

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

CERNOBBIO, Italy, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Italy’s net energy import costs are set to more than double this year to nearly 100 billion euros ($99.5 billion), the economy minister said, warning that Rome could not spend indefinitely to cushion the blow on the economy.

Italy depends on imports for three-quarters of its power consumption, increasing its vulnerability to Europe’s current energy crisis.

Speaking to the annual Ambrosetti business forum on Saturday, Economy Minister Daniele Franco said Italy’s high debt was reducing room for maneuver going forward.

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

Measures to help businesses and consumers cope with high energy bills will be approved next week, following six aid packages so far worth a total of 52 billion euros, Franco said.

“Continuing to offset, at least in part, rising energy prices through public finances is very costly and we could never do enough,” he said.

Franco said it was key to addressing the functioning of Europe’s energy market, where soaring gas prices amid shrinking Russian exports have driven power prices higher.

“What matters is bringing the price of gas and energy back to sustainable levels,” Franco said.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said at the same conference on Saturday that it was necessary to remove any link between the price of gas and electricity, and move to “a total decoupling” of gas and power prices.

Italy’s net energy imports cost 43 billion euros in 2021, broadly in line with previous years except for 2020 which was affected by the COVID-19 virus outbreak, Franco said.

The increase of around 60 billion euros expected in 2022 represents about three percentage points of the gross domestic product and will wipe out the net surplus in exchange with the rest of the world Italy registered in recent years, Franco warned.

“We are transferring a significant portion of our purchasing power overseas,” he added.

($1 = 1.0049 euros)

Register now for FREE unlimited access to

Reporting by Valentina Za and Elvira Pollina; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Mike Harrison

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Source link

Back to top button