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Lintilä: The will to reduce energy prices is "very strong"

Economic affairs minister Mika Lintilä said the tone at an emergency meeting of energy ministers was serious.

Elinkeinoministeri Mika Lintilä Ykkösaamun vieraana 9. lokakuuta.
Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä (Cen) Image: Petteri Sopanen / Yle
Yle News

There is a very strong will to reduce energy prices, Finland's Minister of Economic Affairs, Mika Lintilä (Cen), said at an emergency meeting of EU energy ministers in Brussels on Friday.

The extraordinary meeting, organised to work on solutions to the ongoing energy crisis, involved discussions about energy prices as well as plans for the coming winter, when there are fears colder weather will worsen the energy crunch.

At a press conference, Lintilä characterised the tone of the discussions as serious.

"The will to reduce energy prices is very strong," he said, adding that one challenge is that the various countries in the EU use different energy schemes.

In principle, Finland supports profit caps for electricity firms' excessive profits. But Lintilä said such decisions should be made on a country-by-country basis.

According to Reuters, EU ministers were divided about whether to put a price ceiling on Russian gas but that they broadly supported measures to prevent energy companies from suffering liquidity problems.

Yle correspondent: Action being taken

Meanwhile some ministers said it was vital to decouple gas prices from more affordable sources of energy, Reuters reported, as energy prices in Europe are generally set by gas plants.

This week the European Commission announced that it planned to propose measures to recoup revenue from non-gas energy producers — and put those funds towards easing consumer energy prices.

Earlier this week, the majority-state-owned Finnish energy company Fortum announced a bridge financing agreement with the Finnish state worth 2.35 billion euros in efforts to cover the firm's collateral needs in the Nordic power commodity market. A similar move was made in neighbouring Sweden.

Last month, it was reported that the energy crisis may prompt Finland to resort to rolling power outages this winter.

Lintilä said the European Commission will likely issue more details about its proposal by next Wednesday.

Yle's correspondent in Brussels, Rikhard Husu, told the national broadcaster early on Friday evening that there was a general feeling that progress was made at the meeting.

However, he said that it remains to be seen whether electricity prices can be restrained.

"The message from here at least is that something is being done and that doing so is urgent," Husu said.

10.9 Correction: meeting of energy ministers.

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