De Croo reiterated that there should be a ceiling on energy prices, but for that he is looking at Europe and the meeting of energy ministers next Friday. In the meantime, temporary measures must be taken for both citizens and entrepreneurs. (Read more below the video)
“We cannot let companies go bankrupt because of derailed invoices,” emphasized the prime minister. He referred to Monday’s meeting of the country’s various governments and social partners.
But the prime minister does not only look to the government to take measures. He referred to the leaders of two major banks that suggested the possibility of lowering mortgage payments during the winter months so that energy bills can be paid.
With regard to the surplus profits of energy companies, De Croo wants to extend the distribution contribution that currently applies to the nuclear sector to other sectors such as wind energy. That contribution would be used to help SMEs and the middle class. The measure is also on the table at Engie, regardless of the negotiations on the extension of the two youngest nuclear power plants.
Two nuclear power plants
With regard to the extension of the two nuclear power plants that would be shut down in the coming months, De Croo felt that the debate should be conducted fairly. “You cannot limit such a complex file to two nuclear power plants,” said the prime minister. “Let us first carry out what the government has decided.”
Bouchez wants to extend nuclear power plants
But within the Vivaldi majority voices are heard to keep more than two nuclear plants open longer and to allow the extension of the two youngest plants for 20 instead of 10 years.
MR chairman Georges-Louis Bouchez repeated in the RTL-TVI program C’est pas tous les jours dimanche his plea for the “extension of 5 reactors for 10 to 20 years”. According to him, the presence of hydrogen flakes in the ‘fracture power plants’ Doel 3 and Tihange 2 does not stand in the way of an extension. “They are controlled, have never evolved and pose no risk according to the FANC,” said Bouchez.
“Taboos must be broken”
CD&V chairman Sammy Mahdi answered in the VTM News to questions about a possible extension to 20 years of more than the two power stations that “taboos should be broken for everyone”. He noted that in the negotiations with Engie on the extension of Doel 4 and Tihange 3, a longer term than the anticipated 10 years could help in the discussion about the skimming of the excess profits. “We have to keep all doors open,” he said.
Ecolo co-chairman Jean-Marc Nollet pointed out C’est pas tous les jours dimanche Note that the question about the extension of Doel 3 and Tihange 2 has been put to Engie for a few months. “For Doel 3 it is said that this is not possible, for Tihange 2 the analysis is still ongoing. There is no blockage,” he assured.