Speaking to Italian television channel SkyTg24, the Minister expressed the country's dissatisfaction with Brussels' proposal to cap gas prices at 275 euros / 285 dollars per megawatt-hour (MWh), claiming it is insufficient.
Energy Prices Drive Up Italian Inflation to 11.8 Pct in October
"This is not enough. On the contrary, there is a danger it will stimulate speculation, instead of becoming a tool to contain it," said the Minister, who added that the proposal would be discussed on Thursday by EU energy ministers.
"Tomorrow, we will evaluate it; a discussion will be held. Depending on the details, we will decide what position to take. But as it stands now, we are not satisfied," said Pichetto Fratin.
The EC proposal implies the entry into force of the cap in case the first-month price on the Dutch gas exchange Title Transfer Facility (TTF) exceeds 275 EUR/MWh for two weeks and in case prices are 58 EUR higher than a global reference price for liquefied natural gas (LNG) for ten consecutive trading days.
The proposed mechanism, which could start operating next year, was announced yesterday by European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson.
Dissatisfaction with the proposal has arisen among the bloc's member countries. The EU is seeking relief from the looming energy crisis with the onset of winter.
The bloc is trying to combat the excessive rise in gas and electricity prices caused by sanctions imposed on Russia for its special military operation in Ukraine.