Electrabel will have to face up to its responsibilities to guarantee the security of the energy supply in Belgium and also with regard to the increased prices consumers will have to bear, Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Thursday at the Chamber. Michel, who met Engie-Electrabel leaders on Wednesday, made the remark while answering questions from opposition legislators. “I mean for them to take up their responsibilities – and that is the intransigent message I conveyed to Engie-Electrabel – for the security of the supply and the impact on prices linked to the unavailability of part of our nuclear capacity,” he said.
Reacting to doubts expressed about the policy of Energy Minister Marie-Christine Marghem, he expressed “confidence” in the work she has done so far.
The opposition did not feel completely satisfied by the Prime Ministers’ answers. They wished to know what measure would be taken to avoid the increase in electricity prices. “Hard work isn’t enough to produce megawatts,” Humanist Democratic Centre (cdH) parliamentarian Michel de Lamotte commented.
The Socialist Party (PS) called for reduced Value Added Tax (VAT) on electricity while the Workers Party of Belgium (PTB) proposed an exceptional tax on Electrabel’s profits.
Ecolo’s Jean-Marc Nollet said, for his part that “it wouldn’t be right for citizens and businesses to pay for Engie-Electrabel’s mistakes.”