But for a handful of hardcore survivalists, the announcement caught most EU watchers flat-footed. Klaudia Tanner, Minister of Defense in the now disbanded Kurz government, alerted her Austrian compatriots earlier this month of the possible need to stockpile food if the blackouts that many fear end up materializing. Others have been hedging their bets for a while, too. Earlier in May this year, Spain’s Minister for Ecological Transition Teresa Ribera penned a letter to Frans Timmermans, the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, pleading for EU-wide legislation to prevent power outages from disproportionately hitting the less well-off. These were merely the opening salvos in what has since shaped up to be a full-fledged energy crisis in Europe, with a skyrocketing surge in electricity prices across the continent hampering the prospects of a rapid post-Covid economic recovery. Will Europeans face a blackout this winter? Who should we blame for this surge? Russia, the EU, the emissions trading system? To talk about this issue we are very glad to have Aitor Hernández-Morales from POLITICO Europe and Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, director of the Institut Jacques Delors’ energy center.
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