The price cap in the sights of the Austrian government
In Austria, politicians and experts are looking into the details of a possible cap on electricity prices, following a government announcement to this effect.
The Austrian government should allow households to consume a certain amount of gas and electricity — the “normal consumption” — at a low price, suggested Gabriel Felbermayr, director of the Austrian Institute of Economics. The government is currently considering his proposal, which has sparked heated debate in the country.
“I have instructed the experts from the Ministry of Climate Protection to sort out the details”Leonore Gewessler, Minister of Energy and Climate Protection, told The Standard, Sunday (July 17). Chancellor Karl Nehammer is also said to have instructed Finance Minister Magnus Brunner to consider Mr Felbermayr’s proposal.
Austria’s conservative and green government continues to lag the opposition in opinion polls, which is partly attributed to the energy price crisis. The far-right populists of the opposition, the FPÖ and the SPÖ, continue to enjoy public support on this issue.
In recent days, the minister-presidents of federalist Austria have increased the pressure. Lower Austria’s conservative president, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, has called for action alongside her conservative Styrian counterpart, Christopher Drexler.
“Government ignores record inflation for months”said Sunday the federal director of the SPÖ, Christian Deutsch.
Although the details of this cap have not yet been released, it can be assumed that the government will ensure that Austrians can afford a significant percentage of their 2021 consumption levels, as the country seeks to limit the use of the gas given its heavy reliance on Russia.
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