BERLIN (AA) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday defended his government’s €200 billion energy fund, after Italy and several other EU states criticized Berlin for undermining European solidarity.
“We will establish a power price cap. Like many other countries, we will do the same for gas,” Scholz said, during a joint news conference with Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
“Some countries have long been in the process of doing exactly what we have planned for this year and the next two years, they have done this with great support and measures,” he said.
Scholz’s coalition government announced a €200 billion energy fund last week to protect consumers and companies from skyrocketing energy prices and possible disruptions to gas supplies due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
However, outgoing Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi criticized Berlin for taking unilateral steps and for not showing solidarity with other EU member states.
"We can't divide ourselves according to our fiscal room for maneuver, we need solidarity," he stressed.
France’s Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire also warned against the “fragmentation of the eurozone” and urged consultation and solidarity among EU member states to address the energy crisis.