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Energy minister accuses gas suppliers of abusing dominant position, being arrogant on eve of market deregulation

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virgil popescu

Energy Minister Virgil Popescu continued on Wednesday the accusations against the gas suppliers, reproaching them for abusing their dominant position in order not to reduce the price for the population, with the deregulation of the market, as of July 1.

The minister attended on Wednesday the presentation of the second edition of the "Energy Security Barometer" in Romania, an event organized by the "Ion I.C. Bratianu" Institute of Political Science and International Relations of the Romanian Academy (ISPRI), through the Informational War and Strategic Communication Analysis Laboratory (LARICS), based on extensive sociological research conducted nationally by INSCOP Research.

"Some suppliers abuse a dominant position and do not reduce their prices at the end-consumer when they buy gas from producers on the market at a much lower price. Here I would like to draw attention to the fact that gas is currently traded through that gas release program somewhere at 30 - 30 lei per MWh for summer and somewhere at 48-50 lei for the winter period until the end of the year. Compared to 68 lei, as it is now, it is a very big difference and I do not see any reaction from the two big gas suppliers, on the contrary, some slightly arrogant press statements of a gas supplier, which leaves me, I must admit, with a bitter taste, a disappointment", said the minister.

"Prices for population should fall by at least 10-15pct from the current level. That it will not be on July 1, that it will be on July 15, that it will be on August 1, but it will have to be [a reduction], because we cannot remain like this. I assure you and I assure all Romanians that we have the necessary levers at the level of the Government to do this if we notice that the dominant position in the market is still being abused. The Competition Council is ready, ANPC [Consumer Protection], the ANRE [energy watchdog] are ready, we, the ministry, are ready and we will intervene if necessary", he continued.

According to the INSCOP survey presented on Wednesday, only half of Romanians know that on July 1 the gas market will be deregulated.

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