In Belgium, they are already threatening to burn electricity bills – the people may soon be on the streets if the concerns are not answered

EPN in Eastern Ukraine People are very worried This will

If people’s concerns are not listened to, there may be more and more radical measures from the citizens. The Europa letter tells the essential EU topics every Friday. Order the entire letter to your email.

Rikhard Husu,

Elli-Alina Hiilamo


Here in Brussels, the late summer heat wave has been allowed to give way to cooler weather. The evenings are already bitterly cool, and after the summer break in homes, the radiators have to be turned on for warmth again.

The arrival of the cold is a common concern here. The price of gas used for heating has shot up to unprecedented levels, and many homes are thinking about how to survive the winter.

Galloping inflation increases concern about getting by on a daily basis. In Belgium, prices have risen by ten percent from a year ago. Consumers’ patience is being tested.

“I’m ready to burn my heating bill,” says the protester in Brussels on Wednesday Rosalie In an interview with L’Echo magazine (you will switch to another service). According to the police, around 10,000 people participated in the protest against the weakening of purchasing power.

Protesters the message was clear: if people’s concerns are not listened to, more radical action may be in store. Similar messages have come from different parts of Europe in recent weeks.

The citizens’ movement increases the pressure to find EU-level solutions to the energy crisis. Decisions can be expected when EU energy ministers meet in Brussels in a week.

The meeting will discuss saving electricity, cutting the excessive profits of electricity producers, and the solidarity fee for energy companies operating outside the electricity market.

According to the Commission, with the measures presented, it is possible to channel more than 140 billion euros to households suffering from the energy crisis. It remains to be seen whether the commission will bring new proposals during the week for the ministers to chew on.

Decisions we are now doing things at breakneck speed, just like during the corona pandemic. There is a broad consensus in the EU that actions against Russia and decisions mitigating the energy crisis are urgent.

But there is also underlying concern about the long-term effects of the decisions: will there be time to assess the effects properly, and will the EU’s actions form a unified and coherent whole?

Common Decisions at the EU level have also been announced in the discussion related to visas for Russian tourists. Finland has hoped that tourist visas would be covered by EU sanctions.

However, the partial suspension of business announced by Russia would seem to lead to tourist visas being interfered with by tightening national legislation.

The EU has also reacted to Russia’s recent actions. According to Foreign Relations Director Josep Borrell, new sanctions against Russia are being prepared.

It is clear that there is no immediate end in sight to the war in Ukraine. This drags the mind down.

Even so: a nice autumn continuation.


PS: On Sunday, you should turn your eyes towards Italy. The former ECB boss Mario Draghi under the leadership, Italy has succeeded in increasing its trust capital in Brussels. If the extreme right wins the elections, Italy and the EU will face something new.

Then to news topics from Europe during the week. The last letter was written by a financial editor Elli-Alina Hiilamo.

Economic forecasts paint a gloomy landscape

Mid-September also means the season of economic forecasts.

The picture of the economy of 2023 is starting to take shape, insofar as nothing can be seen under the stupid war, energy crisis and inflation. There is a lot of uncertainty in the forecasts, but it is clear that the outlook for next year is weak. The European Central Bank significantly lowered its growth forecast and anticipates growth of just under one percent for next year.

Forecasts have also been revised downwards in Finland. According to the Ministry of Finance’s forecast, the Finnish economy will still grow next year, but only slightly. For example, the Bank of Finland predicts that the Finnish economy will contract next year, by 0.3 percent.

Europe letter will be back again next Friday with new topics. Stay tuned!

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