Europe’s spend on energy crisis nears 800 billion euros
European countries’ bill to shield households and companies from soaring energy costs has climbed to nearly 800 billion euros, researchers said on Monday, urging countries to be more targeted in their spending to tackle the energy crisis.
European Union countries have now earmarked or allocated 681 billion euros in energy crisis speding, while Britain allocated 103 billion euros and Norway 8.1 billon euros since September 2021, according to the analysis by think-tank Bruegel.
The 792-billion-euro total compares with 706 billion euros in Bruegel’s last assessment in November, as countries continue through winter to face the fallout from Russia cutting off most of its gas deliveries to Europe in 2022.
Germany topped the spending chart, allocating nearly 270 billion euros – a sum that eclipsed all other countries. Britain, Italy and France were the next highest, although each spent less than 150 billion euros. Most EU states spent a fraction of that.
On a per capita basis, Luxembourg, Denmark and Germany were the biggest spenders.
The spending earmarked by the countries on the energy crisis is now in the same league as the EU’s 750-billion-euro COVID-19 recovery fund. Agreed in 2020, that saw Brussels take on joint debt and pass it onto the bloc’s 27 member states to cope with the pandemic.
The energy spending update comes as countries debate EU proposals to loosen state aid rules further for green technology projects, as Europe seeks to compete with subsidies in the United States and China.
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