Romania’s electricity and gas price will grow in the context of their getting alignment with European countries, and the government has to say what consumers it can continue to subsidize, Bogdan Chiriţoiu, the chairman of the Competition Council, said in a conference on Thursday.
“One thing harder to accept, but inevitable, is that, when we integrate into the European market, be it either gas or electricity market, the inevitable trend is to have prices similar to the countries around us. This is the definition of a market, prices tend to equalize”, Chiriţoiu said.
According to Agerpres, he pointed out that this is already happening with regard to the price of fuels, before taxes.
“We like it or not, this will happen with electricity and gas as well. This can be a good thing for Romania and for our producers, because we are generally exporting electricity and, at the moment, when we are working for developing new production capacities in the Black Sea, we will probably become also gas exporters, so this will be a good thing for our economy, but it will mean higher prices”, said the Competition Council official.
In this context, Chiriţoiu reminded that the vulnerable consumer, who will be most affected by these price rises, has not yet been defined.
“We have to see what consumers are most affected by higher prices. This is an old subject and I would be happy to be solved by the current Government.” The starting point will be that all Romanians would consider themselves as vulnerable, but we are not all vulnerable. Not all Romanians will be entitled to ask the Government to receive subsidies for energy-related expenses”, said the chairman of the Competition authority.
As an example, he mentioned the inhabitants in Bucharest and Ilfov, areas where gross domestic product per capita exceeded the EU average.
At the same time, industrial consumers will also be affected by these price increases, and Chiriţoiu has shown that large electricity consumers have already been supported by the state by being exempted from paying a consistent share of green certificates.
“Perhaps we need to find measures like this for other taxes that also impact on the competitiveness of economic agents”, he added.