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Europe faces deindustrialization and social unrest – Belgian PM — RT World News


Alexander De Croo told the Financial Times

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo warned that Europe could soon face a significant reduction in industrial activity and social unrest unless something is done to lower energy prices before winter begins. head.

In an interview with the Financial Times published on Thursday, he said that unless there is an intervention in the gas market, “We’re risking massive de-industrialisation in continental Europe and the long-term consequences could be really profound.”

De Croo insists on a multi-layered approach to the gas crisis, which he says should include a hard price cap on Russian natural gas, negotiations with suppliers such as Norway and Algeria, and a “dynamic” A cap on liquefied natural gas (LNG) prices, he said, could be set slightly above prices in the US or Asia to ensure continued flow to Europe.

The Belgian leader also warned that governments must “wise” not only to combat high inflation, stemming from high energy prices, but also to address the risk of social unrest that accompanies it.

“Our population is getting absolutely insane bills. At some point, it will crash. I understand that people are angry. . . people don’t have the means to pay it,” De Croo told the FT.

His comments came after thousands of protesters rallied in Brussels at the end of September to demand higher wages and lower energy prices after it was reported that about 64% of the country’s citizens are afraid of not being able to afford it. able to pay their energy bills, which are already amazingly average. €700 ($690) a month.

The Belgian Prime Minister had previously warned that “The next five to ten winters will be difficult” in Europe due to record gas prices, but claims that Belgium will endure the crisis “If we support each other in these difficult times.”

Gas prices in Europe rose earlier this year after Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine in late February. After the EU and other Western countries imposed sweeping sanctions on Moscow and began a campaign to cut off Russian energy supplies, gas prices hit record levels, leading to a spike in inflation. on the continent.

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