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Energy Crunch

Europe’s Governments Face a Reckoning as Energy Prices Surge

Politicians are stepping in to help consumers with soaring bills, but the stopgap measures won’t be enough.

A gas technician installs a gas meter at a residential apartment in Corbera De Llobregat, Spain.

A gas technician installs a gas meter at a residential apartment in Corbera De Llobregat, Spain.

Photographer: Angel Garcia/Bloomberg

Europe is gripped by one of the worst energy crunches in history, forcing politicians to step in as soaring prices threaten to leave millions of households unable to pay their bills. 

But with market forces signaling that the crisis will last way beyond the winter, the dilemma facing leaderships is that their stopgap measures are unlikely to be enough. The cost of electricity and gas across the continent already looks like one of the biggest challenges facing nations as they navigate their way out of the pandemic.