Mini-Budget: Energy package to cost £60 billion reveals Kwarteng
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Fears are growing that the EU could descend into anarchy as its working classes pay the price to combat Russian energy aggression. A commission, entitled Save Gas for a Safe Winter, allows officials in Brussels to impose fines for non-compliance if the energy crisis escalates to a dangerous level. Several EU member states are considering adopting stringent energy rationing measures, which has caused dozens of energy-intensive factories to cut back production or shut down.
Glass, steel, aluminium, zinc, fertiliser and chemical plants have closed as a result of the EU’s energy rationing sanctions.
These measures are “crippling” Europe’s working classes as many have lost their jobs in these sectors, author Thomas Fazi said.
Writing for UnHerd, he said politicians in Europe continue to “devise unrealistic plans for energy rationing” while “soaring energy prices and falling demand” have already caused many factories to close.
This has resulted in “thousands of workers to be laid off”, he added.
Cuts in zinc, aluminium and silicon production have already left consumers in Europe facing severe shortages.
Mr Fazi said: “Meanwhile, steel plants in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and other countries — more than two dozen in total — are beginning to slow down or entirely stop their output”.
Production at around 30 fertiliser plants has been temporarily halted around Europe, while German’s leading chemical company BASF has temporarily shut down 80 plants worldwide and plans to slow production at another 100.
The sanctions have also limited exports of fertiliser from Russia, which has caused farmers to scale back their output.
Across northern and western Europe, vegetable producers are also considering halting production due to high energy costs.
Greenhouse industry group Glastuinbouw Nederland said up to 40 percent of its 3,000 members are in financial distress.
Mr Fazi said: “This further threatens food supplies — and will certainly lead to even higher food prices which, coupled with soaring energy bills, is likely to drive millions of European into poverty.
“In other words, the European energy and cost-of-living crisis is on course to descend into an outright humanitarian crisis”.
The impacts will also be felt in the UK, as 45million people are expected to face fuel poverty in January 2023.
Health experts warn that cold homes will damage children’s lungs and brain development, and also lead to deaths as part of a “significant humanitarian crisis” this winter.
The ban on Russian gas imports is expected to cause “anarchy” across Europe, but will hit the working classes the hardest, Mr Fazi warned.
It comes as Britain is facing the deepest living standards squeeze in a century, research from the Resolution Foundation thinktank said.
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