Five EU countries propose two options to cap gas prices

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ATHENS (Reuters) – Greece and four other EU countries made a joint request to the European Commission to explore two options to cap soaring gas prices and propose possible solutions in a bid to tame surging energy costs, the Greek energy ministry said.

The European Union will unveil proposals next week to launch joint gas buying within months and develop an alternative gas price benchmark, but a meeting of EU countries on Wednesday left it unresolved whether the package would include a gas price cap.

In letter addressed to the European Union’s executive arm on Thursday, the energy ministers of Greece, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Poland proposed amending references to the Dutch Title Transfer Facility (TTF) gas price in the relevant contracts through a legal and/or regulatory EU measure.

Brussels says a new index is needed since the main TTF benchmark is guided by pipeline supply and no longer representative of a market that includes more liquefied natural gas.

The ministers also want the EU to examine a cap on the wholesale gas prices and a separate mechanism to match supply and demand when that price cap is overshot via over-the-counter transactions and tenders.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; editing by Jonathan Oatis

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