European Union countries agreed on Friday to impose emergency levies on energy firms' windfall profits and began talks on their next move to tackle Europe's energy crunch - possibly a bloc-wide gas price cap, APA reports citing Reuters.
Ministers from the 27 EU member countries met in Brussels on Friday, where they approved measures proposed earlier this month to contain an energy price surge that is stoking record-high inflation and threatening a recession.
The package includes a levy on fossil fuel companies' surplus profits made this year or next, another levy on excess revenues low-cost power producers make from soaring electricity costs, and a mandatory 5% cut in electricity use during peak price periods.
With the deal done, countries began talks on Friday morning on the EU's next move to cont
"All these temporary measures are very well, but in order to find the solution to help our citizens in this energy crisis, we need to cap the gas price," Croatian economy minister Davor Filipovic said on his arrival at Friday's meeting.
Fifteen countries, including France, Italy, and Poland, this week asked Brussels to propose a price cap on all wholesale gas transactions to contain inflation.
The cap should be set at a level that is "high and flexible enough to allow Europe to attract the required resources", Belgium, Greece, Poland and Italy said in a note explaining their proposal seen by Reuters on Thursday.