Ukraine crisis hits gas prices in Italy

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Gas prices are due to jump 5.4 percent in the last quarter of 2014. Gas photo: Shutterstock
12:16 CEST+02:00
The conflict in Ukraine will lead gas prices to rise in Italy this winter, the national energy authority has said.

Gas prices will jump 5.4 percent in the last quarter of 2014, Italy’s energy authority (Autorità per l'energia elettrica il gas e il sistema idrico) said on Monday.

The price hike is due to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, in addition to a seasonal wait for raw materials, the authority said. Around 30 percent of Europe’s gas supply comes from Russia, half of which is transported through Ukraine.

The increase in gas prices is the largest in three years, since a 5.5 percent jump in the fourth quarter of 2011. Prices, however, dropped by 6.3 percent in the third quarter and fell 3.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014, meaning that overall Italians will be better off this year.

The average Italian family will spend €84 less on gas in 2014 compared to last year, thanks to energy reforms.

“The positive fact is that now Italian consumers pay for raw materials like other European consumers, at a price tied to trends,” said Guido Bortoni, the president of the authority.

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Despite this, the energy authority said there was a need to strengthen financial benefits for the most vulnerable members of society.

In addition to a rise in gas prices, Italians will also spend an estimated 1.7 percent more on electricity between October and December.  

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