Businesses warn EU energy prices could shut 'thousands' of firms
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High gas and electricity costs pose an imminent threat to thousands of EU firms and Brussels must act quickly to soften the blow, the Confederation of European Business said Thursday.
"The current state of high gas and electricity prices bears the imminent risk of production losses and shutdowns of thousands of European companies," the business lobby wrote in an open letter to EU chief Ursula von der Leyen.
The EU's executive and the bloc's 27 member states are scrambling to come up with ways to lessen the hit from the soaring costs.
Energy ministers from around the bloc are meeting in Brussels on Friday amid a push by some nations to establish a price cap on the cost of gas.
"Estimates show that 70 percent of Europe’s fertiliser production has been shut or slowed down, while 50 percent of total aluminium capacity has been lost," the business confederation said.
"There is a real danger that businesses, and in particular energy-intensive industries, relocate outside of Europe permanently."
"This exceptional measure could only be justified by the exceptional situation on the energy market."