Prices are rising every day

Prices are rising every day

Ksenia Melnikova

Anti-Russian sanctions are increasingly worrying Europeans. Many have already felt the consequences on their own wallet. In Britain, they fear a crisis similar to the one in 1973, in Germany they are buying up toilet paper and oil. Prices for gasoline, gas and electricity are rising. Brussels, meanwhile, advises lowering the temperature in homes and driving less.
Prices are rising every day
“Britain is facing a bigger economic shock than the oil crisis of 1973. Energy prices are rising and a ban on imports from Russia will only worsen the situation,” the Daily Mail describes what is happening in Europe.
Half a century ago, the “oil shock” was a real blow to the West. Arab countries then announced an embargo on the supply of energy to Great Britain, Canada, the Netherlands, Japan and the United States – the states that supported Israel in the Yom Kippur War. The price of oil quadrupled in one day. In all developed countries, fuel consumption has decreased, a recession has begun, unemployment has risen and stock markets have fallen. Recovered for a long time. And now the British media do not exclude that the situation will repeat itself.
“Gasoline prices are going up every day. At one gas station in Reading, they increased by five pence ev-ery hour,” says Robert Jenr-ick, 40, a former local government secretary. Heating and food prices have also risen.
And yet Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering “every option to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.” “I have no doubt that there are difficult times ahead of us. A difficult process of weaning is ahead,” Johnson did not hide in an article for The Telegraph. The refusal will be painful, but the British prime minister is sure that this is the only way to influence Vladimir Putin.
The opposition is not happy. The leader of the Liberal Democrats, former energy secretary Ed Davey insists: “The actions of the authorities are hurting people. The last thing our economy and the British people need now is a further reduction in income.”
“Very difficult year” predicts former Prime Minister David Cameron. He urged authorities to cut taxes to help families weather the c-risis. “The most difficult y-ear we’ve ever seen in our lives,” agrees British Cons-ervative politician Robert Jenrick.
Let it be cold at home
This is also recognized in Brussels. The EU fears a food crisis. “We are monitoring the situation and its implications for our agricultural producers and for global food security due to the fact that Ukraine and Russia are major food suppliers,” said European Commission spokeswoman Miriam Garcia Ferrer. So far, she said, “there is no threat,” but prices will still skyrocket.
German media write that anti-Russian sanctions have already hit European consumers. Citizens of Germany are actively buying scarce goods. Toilet paper and vegetable oil are in the greatest demand. It was mainly imported from Ukraine. But now supplies have actually been stopped, all ports are blocked.
Shelves are empty in some stores, and retail chains are trying to discipline customers. In one hand they sell “usual volumes for daily consumption”, no more. Cem Ozdemir, Minister of Agriculture from the Green Party, assures: “The country’s supply is not disrupted.” However, according to his party colleague Ricarda Lang, “the population is suffering from rising prices for fuel, food and home heating.”
Politicians have suggested that Europeans reduce c-ar trips and “lower the temperature in their homes.” “The amount of electricity consumed is your choice. This determines how strong our reaction to the actions of Russia is. By lowering the temperature in the houses, you will reduce energy consumption, and this will make us stronger in relation to Russia,” explained the logic of what is happening, the Deputy Head of the European Commission Frans Timmermans.
You can’t produce at your own expense.
Many people associate all these problems with the lack of oil in Europe. For example, Germany produces less gasoline and diesel fuel than before. And in anticipation of the import ban, the Germans are actively stocking up. Excessive demand spurs the rise in fuel prices.
“In Sicily, gasoline cost about 1.8 euros, now it’s around three. There are no interruptions in food, not like in a pandemic. But, I’m afraid, price increases cannot be avoided. There is already a lot of unemployment and the economic crisis, I don’t know, what will happen next. You will have to pay much more for electricity and gas,” says Marco, a resident of Palermo.
Some businesses have even suspended operations. For example, the pulp and paper industry firm Assocarta. “We resisted, even released goods at a loss, but these days more and more paper mills stop or restrict work. What the pandemic failed to do was the energy shock that followed the current events between Ukraine and Russia,” says the president National Association of Paper, Board and Pulp Manufacturers Assocarta Lorenzo Poli.
On March 14, the Italian association of cargo carriers Trasportounito stopped working. The official statement says: “We simply cannot fulfill contractual obligations at a loss.” Truckers are on strike in Spain.
Anti-Russian sanctions ricochet against Europeans who have just begun to recover from covid economic losses. Brussels understands this. According to European Commissioner for Financial Stability Valdis Dombrovskis, sanctions and counter-sanctions will accelerate inflation, fuel and food prices, and will negatively affect the investment market. And it is unlikely that the words that you need to freeze a little for the sake of putting pressure on Putin seriously convince ordinary people.

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