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The government freezes gas prices despite EC requirements to liberalize the market / Gas consumed by Romanians is among the cheapest in Europe

de A.C.
Joi, 28 ianuarie 2010, 20:07 English | Top News

Romanian authorities are compelled, according to EU standards, to liberalize internal gas prices starting this year. Currently, gas prices for Romanian consumers are the cheapest in Europe, at 50% of the EU average. Due to social pressures, the Romanian government ignores EU pressures regarding the liberalization and urged the National Authority Regulating the Energy Sector to freeze prices.

The liberalization of the gas market was due for January 1, 2009 after Romania received a two year delay. Meanwhile, the economic crisis kicked in and Romania managed to obtain another delay. Initially, Romania had to operate the price change as of January 2007.

Most European states increased gas prices last year but in Romania, gas prices decreased. The European Commission pressures Romanian authorities to present a liberalization time line. The Commission expects new measures to take effect as of March 2010.

Romanian authorities are pressured by two necessities: on the one hand, social protection and on the other hand, the need to comply to EC requirements. The decisions regarding price evolution come from the government and not from the Regulating Authority even though this is the institution that should be independent.

PM Boc assured last year that prices will not increase. Governmental sources declared for that gas prices will not increase because the Prime Minister does not want it.

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