‘Europe is committing suicide’ – Czech PM Babiš criticizes EU’s energy policy

Europe’s emphasis on reducing emissions is causing a price shock that is crippling Europe, says Czechia’s prime minister

editor: REMIX NEWS
author: Lada Režňáková
Czech Republic's Prime Minister Andrej Babis arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. (AP Photo/Olivier Matthys, Pool)

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš is pleased that after the EU summit, European leaders are pressing for the European Commission to consider further regulations of the energy market. According to him, the commission is currently not responding adequately to the energy crisis, and it could lead to long-term economic turmoil, he on Thursday’s conclusions of the summit of European Union leaders.

“Europe is committing suicide,” commented Babiš on this topic.

The Czech prime minister said that the topic of energy prices dominated the EU summit.

“We negotiated late into the night. I must say that for me, it was mainly about the topic of rising energy prices. It was crucial for me. I was active, blocking the European Council until 10 p.m. I am convinced that Europe — the European Commission — is not responding adequately to rising energy prices,” the Czech prime minister said on Friday.

“There are two reasons behind the prices, firstly and secondly emission allowances. I feel that the European Commission still does not understand the impact of emission allowances on energy prices,” he noted, adding that he felt that the Commission’s downplays the problem.

He also reiterated that “speculators” should not buy emission allowances.

In his commentary on Thursday’s meeting, Babiš further mentioned Frans Timmermans. He pointed out that in the future, Timmermans envisions forcing households to buy emission allowances.

The leaders of the European Union adopted the conclusions of the negotiation at night. Many leaders did not want to allow too much market intervention, but the joint statement eventually added a call to the European Commission to “review the functioning of the gas and electricity market, as well as the ETS,” with the help of the ESMA European regulator.

The summit also wants the European Commission to prepare longer-term measures to ensure “affordable energy prices” and reduce dependence on energy imports. Babiš called it a compromise and a “great success of the Czech Republic.”

According to Babiš, there will be no immediate change in the rules as the next step is an analysis, which the commission should present by mid-November. Babiš wants “emission permits to be bought only by those who are obliged to do so.” The commission describes the impact of speculation on emission allowances as only marginal.

The Czech prime minister also mentioned the issue of gas.

“Mr. Timmermans promised to bring gas from Qatar, but he didn’t. Qatar is supplying Asia,” he said, adding that the more pressure is put on China to abandon coal, the more it increases gas consumption.

“Gas production in Europe has no perspective, we have to import,” he said, stressing that Europe must face this issue and make clear rules on the European level for buying gas.

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