Politicians and prices - the itch to intervene

July 4, 2008 | 00:00

Politicians and prices - the itch to intervene

The temptation for EU governments to be seen to "do something" about rolling back energy prices has increased, is increasing and ought to be resisted.

As the oil price has climbed, so has the pressure on politicians to “do something” about it. At their June 19-20 summit, the European Union’s leaders could not agree on what the “something” should be, and therefore luckily did nothing. But the issue will not go away. Specifically, France which takes over the EU presidency on July 1 has been “invited in conjunction with the European Commission to examine the feasibility and impact of measures to smooth the effects of sudden oil and gas price increases” before EU leaders hold their next summit in October.

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