UK energy prices are on the rise. Factories are threatening to close before the end of the week but the government is reluctant to intervene. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is now on vacation in southern Spain.
According to UK correspondent Leah van Bechoeven, it is still difficult to say whether factories will only close temporarily. We are mainly talking about steel companies, such as British Steel and Tata. They are the most energy consuming and can no longer pay the bills in the short term. Glass makers are also energy intensive. They say it will be a matter of days, not weeks, before their factories close. The problem is always that once the gates are closed, it is not entirely certain whether they will open again.
Meanwhile, the British government is still doing little to resolve the situation. Van Beekhoven: “What they do is argue among themselves. The minister in charge of business is said to have asked for help from the Minister of Finance, who is in charge here. But the ministry denies that there are serious consultations between the two ministries.
Van Beekhoven sees this as a typical pattern of the current British government. Do not take problems seriously, so do not make any preparations. And when it gets worse, there is bound to be panic. This is how you feel now. At least with the ministers. Not with Prime Minister Johnson, because he is on vacation in southern Spain.
In the meantime, British consumers cannot escape rising energy prices, but fortunately those prices are still limited. Van Bechoven: There is a legal cap on how much it can be increased for British consumers. There is no such ceiling for business. The question now is whether the government is ready to provide subsidies to the business community. Thousands of companies say they do things differently.
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The supply of supermarkets in the country is also not going well. According to Van Beekhoven, one in six Britons has been unable to obtain basic goods in the past two weeks. The British are very concerned about the shortage, especially in the Christmas period. They can forget about the British turkey, but maybe it can be imported from the European Union. But even worse: chocolate! I think people are already stocking up on chocolate before the end of December.
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