Virgil Popescu: We suspect a cartel between electricity suppliers, who thought we would return to regulated prices

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The Ministry of Energy suspects an illegal cartel agreement between the energy suppliers, as they did not purchase electricity for the population at the lowest possible costs, the relevant minister, Virgil Popescu, said in an interview with Agerpres.

The minister said prices had not yet settled in the market since liberalization on January 1, and suppliers were betting that authorities would return to regulated prices and had not purchased energy for the second half of the year.

“Now a strange phenomenon has happened (…): they have not bought their electricity for the second semester. They thought that maybe liberalization will not be done through to the end, that maybe we will return to a regulated price. We will see the extent to which this lack of pre-purchase of electricity for the second half is not somehow an agreement between them, a cartel,” said Popescu.

“I talked to almost all the producers and they all told me that they didn’t have these contracts, that the suppliers didn’t come. I think they expected me to back down with the liberalization. I am not. Liberalization, we let it free, prices will set.

Maybe the suppliers should still understand that there is no longer a Dragnea, there are no more premises for Romania to return to the past. We are in the European Union, we have some obligations. I believe that everyone in the free competition has something to gain, not to lose, and if we don’t do it in the last hour we risk losing the last train. I am optimistic and I am convinced that things will settle down. And suppliers I think understood that right now. I expect them to solve this problem, to purchase electricity as they used to do, not overnight, but before, through long-term contracts, in order to have price predictability.”

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