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Macron Backs EU-Wide Windfall Tax on Energy Company Profits

Macron Backs EU-Wide Windfall Tax on Energy Company Profits
Emmanuel Macron, France's president, at a meeting on the final day of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit at the Ifema Congress Center in Madrid, Spain, on Thursday, June 30, 2022. NATO's so-called Strategic Concept said in the text that China's stated ambitions and coercive policies "challenge our interests, security and values" and warned about a deepening strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow. Photographer: Valeria Mongelli/Bloomberg

France backed a European Union-wide windfall tax on the profits of energy companies, becoming the latest country to support the extraordinary measure to rein in the effects of the power crisis.

“We support a European mechanism which we’d ask for from European energy operators whose production costs are far lower than market sale prices,” French President Emmanuel Macron told reporters on Monday after holding a call with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. “This is the approach that France supports, and it’s the approach that France and Germany support.”

EU energy ministers will meet Sept. 9 to discuss special measures to rein in soaring energy costs, from natural gas price caps to a suspension of power derivatives trading. Macron said a special tax could be implemented in France if the EU agrees to it.

Europe is fighting to stave off an energy catastrophe that’s threatening to become an economic and social quagmire. Gas prices surged after Russia’s decision late Friday by Gazprom PJSC to keep the crucial Nord Stream pipeline shut, helping push the euro to the weakest level since 2002.

Over the weekend, Germany — the country most affected by the Nord Stream cutoff — unveiled a $65 billion package to protect consumers, with a levy on windfall profits.

The windfall tax “is the most fair and the most effective approach,” Macron said. “If such an approach doesn’t happen on a European level, then we will look at it at the national level.”



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