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Friday, October 28, 2016

For Europeans, gas prices decrease, for residents of Ukraine – grow

The highest price for gas among European countries pay the Swedes, the Portuguese, Spaniards, Italians and Danes. Russians with Kazakhs and Belarusians – the lowest. However, the way it did the last time, situation has significantly changed only in Ukraine. The victory of European integration is obvious: the tariffs for Ukrainians is almost on par with Hungarian and Romanian.

Swedes in Europe pay the highest price for gas, it follows from the ranking of European countries according to the cost of natural gas for the population, prepared by experts of RIA Rating”.

“The record growth of tariffs for population of Ukraine against the background of reduction of the purchase price of imported gas for Naftogaz”

The population of Sweden (here and hereinafter in terms of the Russian currency) the rouble pays 68.1 per cubic meter of gas consumed. “However, because of extremely low natural gas share in the energy mix of this country in Sweden this type of fuel is more of a luxury for certain people in the country than a necessity. The population of Sweden is focused primarily on the consumption of “green energy”, – analysts say.

Behind Sweden in the ranking Portugal (62.1 per ruble), Spain (57.3 ruble), Italy (56.8 per ruble) and Denmark (52.5 ruble). The population of these countries have to pay so much for gas due to state tax policy, which links the price of gas for households by cost of “green” energy. The point is that the creation of “green” energy is expensive, so the population – the consumers of cheap gas is forced from the pocket through taxes to pay for an expensive eco-friendly energy.

All this confirms the thesis that the gas in Europe for the population not so expensive because, for example, that Gazprom has too high prices (like trying to present the case of the EC). According to the Russian national energy security Fund, in the structure of the final gas price for European consumers (population and factories), the share of Gazprom accounts for only about 40%, and the remaining 60% is taxes and margins of intermediary companies who resell the gas.

Pay the lowest price for gas from the countries of the Customs Union. The cheapest gas among the countries included in the rating, Kazakhstan – 3.7 rubles per cubic meter, which is 18 times less than in Sweden. Russians in average pay 5.1 ruble, Belarusian ruble 6.1. Such low gas prices residents of Russia can afford thanks to the wealth of natural resources. And these riches Russians share with their neighbors. So, Alexander Lukashenko, is able to keep the population so low gas prices thanks to its supply from Russia at preferential rates.

Surprisingly, in Europe, even in those countries which are lucky with resources, the population of this wealth does not receive any dividends. So, the Netherlands is one of Europe’s largest miners – are at a high seventh place in the ranking: the population pays an average of 49 cents per cubic meter of natural gas.

It is therefore not surprising that Ukraine, which has chosen the European integration and breakage of the historical, commercial and friendly ties with Russia, seeks to catch up with Europe in its gas tariffs for the population. Just a year after Maidan, Ukraine has failed in the absolute cost of gas to come close to the poorest EU countries – Hungary and Romania. And this is only the beginning.

Ukraine became the leader on growth rate of tariffs for gas for the population among European countries. Over the past year, rates have increased in the country in national currency five times. Now Ukrainians pay 15 rubles per cubic meter (Hun 19,1, Romania – 21%).

Most surprisingly, the record growth of tariffs for population of Ukraine against the background of reduction of the purchase price of imported gas for Naftogaz. In the first half of 2015, the dollar-denominated tariffs of gas supplied to Ukraine by Gazprom, were on average about 10% lower than in the first half of 2014, experts of RIA Rating”. The reverse of Slovakia, Hungary and Poland in the country were delivered more than half of gas at more competitive prices than Russian. That is, the state reduces their costs while simultaneously increasing the burden on ordinary citizens. In this regard, knocking out Kiev discounts for Russian gas at the tripartite negotiations with Russia and the EU do not bear any practical use in Ukrainian households.

For comparison: a poor European countries Hungary and Slovenia, which resell reverse gas to Ukraine (essentially Russian), took advantage of favourable conditions for the benefit of its population. On the background of cheaper gas (due to the fall in oil prices) in these countries had the strongest decrease in the cost of gas for the population in Hungarian or minus 16.5 percent to 21 rubles per cubic meter, Slovenia – minus 10.7% to 37.9 ruble.

As Ukrainian oligarchs eats the whole Ukrainav many EU countries have reduced gas prices for its population on the background of favorable price situation. Among the 34 countries included in the rating, gas prices were reduced in 15 countries. The rest, they grew, but only in a couple of cases more than 10%. “Thanks to the coup, which was supported by part of the citizens of Ukraine, millions of Ukrainians turned out across the country in 2015 received five to seven times higher tariffs in three to five times too low, real wages and pensions,” – draws a bleak picture of the expert of the Ukrainian public movement “Ukrainian choice” Alexander Koltunovich.

Due to the devaluation of the hryvnia from 8 to 25 to the dollar savings of ordinary citizens are impaired. Dramatically increased the price of all food, medicines and gasoline. “As a result of galloping inflation in 60.9% of the stores are now run as museums, everyone is looking and not buying anything,” says Koltunovich.

In the same Hungary the minimum wage is 333 dollars, in Poland – $ 410, and the Ukraine in times less – 51.7 dollar (Eurostat data, in 2015). While gas prices in the three countries is almost the same: the difference is only four or five rubles, or in 0,1 dollar.

With this approach, the state is not surprising that many Ukrainians simply can not afford to pay for housing and communal services at the prices close to the European. The number of defaulters is increasing exponentially. On may 1, 2015 the debts of the population on payment of housing and communal services amounted to 12.9 billion hryvnia. In April, the debt of Ukraine’s population has increased by 2.5% compared to March of 2015 and the average maturity of debt of the population for all services was 2.6 months, said Koltunovich.

And it is not that because of the war the population of Donbass does not pay for utilities. Their debts are generally not recorded in the statistics. And leaders for nonpayment – Sumy, Vinnytsia and Cherkasy region. The average charges for utility services for the year grew by 65.8%, from 218,4 USD in April 2014 to 550,2 UAH (taking into account electricity consumption at the rate of 150 kWh), the expert said.

And all the stories about aid to needy Ukrainians through the provision of subsidies in practice, only a drop in the ocean serious problems. On may 1, 2015 in Ukraine subsidies received 1248 of thousands of families. This is 7.8% of the total number of families in Ukraine. The average size of housing subsidies per family in April amounted to UAH 335.

“Of course, many Ukrainians in horror awaiting autumn and a new heating season 2015/2016. It was then to fully manifest the new tariffs for gas for the population, as well as other utility services. To master the new tariffs will be only one. Then what will the authorities do with the negative balance of payments of Naftogaz and other service providers?” – surprised Koltunovich.

Many Ukrainians do not particularly want to “be” European integration, wanting to come back, so to speak, the “criminal” rates, the levels of wages and pensions, 2013.

Recall that to raise significantly the tariffs for gas for Ukrainians – it is a direct requirement of the International monetary Fund. This is one of the many conditions that Kiev fulfills meekly to receive the next tranche from the IMF. The sad results of this policy: for the year Ukraine received a record fall in GDP – 17.6%, industrial production – by 21.7%, the collapse of exports to the third.

Ukraine is among the outsiders also in the ranking of countries according to ability to purchase natural gas on the average wage (after deduction of taxes and social payments). If the citizens of Kazakhstan at the average net salary can buy 8.2 thousand cubic meters per month, Luxembourg – almost 6 thousand cubic meters, Russia – 5.6 thousand cubic meters (the three leaders), Ukrainians – total of 482 cubic meter of gas. A year ago the average salary in Ukraine was much higher and the rates lower, so residents could buy 2.2 thousand cubic meters. Among the outsiders for the cost of gas adjusted for purchasing power were also Moldova, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Portugal.


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