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Europe facing “permanent de-industrialisation,” say experts

Leaders within the metal working industry in Europe have warned the EU that the continent could face “permanent de-industrialisation” if the bloc does not take steps to ease pressure on businesses from the energy crisis.

An open letter was published this month by non-ferrous metals industry group Eurometaux, in which industry leaders “raised the alarm” that the EU’s heavy industry is facing an “existential threat” due to rising energy prices.

“Our sector has already been forced to make unprecedented curtailments in the last 12 months,” the letter reads, which is addressed the European Commission President Ursula von Der Leyen and other EU officials.

“We are deeply concerned that the winter ahead could deliver a decisive blow to many of our operations, and we call on EU and Member State leaders to take emergency action to preserve their strategic electricity-intensive industries and prevent permanent job losses.”

The letter claims that produces are facing electricity and gas prices which are more than ten times higher than last year, “far exceeding the sales price of their products.”

They added: “We know from experience that once a plant is closed it very often becomes a permanent situation, as re-opening implies significant uncertainty and cost.”

The letter goes on to recommend ways in which the EU can reduce energy prices “urgently.” These include taking “temporary action to address the excessive price of fossil fuel power generators.” They also call to “actively promote and incentivize the use of renewable power purchase agreements.”

The letter comes amid reports that as many as 60% of British factories face closure due to soaring energy bills.

Irish media last week reported about one Irish shop owner who broke down in tears after being given a €21,000 energy bill for just one month, highlighting the extent of the crisis.

 

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