Romania's Economy minister Adriean Videanu declared for HotNews.ro at the Summit on energy security and the Summit on the Danube Delta that Romania's plans to liberalize the natural gas market, which need to be presented to the EC, will be finished only after a study will be conducted. Serious decisions must be based on serious studies, Videanu said.
Videanu assured that Romania is in the agreed time frame and authorities will take a decision after the study will be finished. Romanian authorities are compelled, according to EC agreements, to liberalize the internal production natural gas prices starting this year.
Currently, gas prices in Romania are the lowest in Europe and are classed at 50% of the EU average. Due to social pressures, the government ignores EU pressures and urged the national agency regulating the energy market to freeze prices.
In such conditions, Romania risks an infringement procedure. The government urged the Commission several delays considering that this will increase gas prices. The liberalization of the market was due on January 2007 but Romania obtained a 2 year delay. Meanwhile, last year, due to the crisis, it managed to obtain another one year delay.
The European Commission pressures Romanian authorities to present a liberalization plan. Videanu said last year that the government receives weekly communications from the EC to liberalize gas prices. He added that the Commission expects a program until March 2010 and we will finish it by that time, he said last year.