He says it immediately, at the start of the works: a ceiling must be put on the prices of energy raw materials, exploded by the war but under pressure for more than a year. Mario Draghi on the first day of the G7 work at Schloss Elmau, in Bavaria, returns to the theme posed for months in the EU – also three days ago in Brussels – of a price-cap on Russian gas, a request painstakingly passed but postponed to October .
The prime minister of Italy in the summit is counting on the alliance the United States, which has solicited (through the secretary of the treasury, Janet Yellen) a ceiling on the price of oil from Russia, which at the end of the year will be reduced in the quantities imported. «Putting a ceiling on the price of fossil fuels imported from Russia has a geopolitical objective as well as an economic and social one. We need to reduce our funding to Russia. And we have to eliminate one of the main causes of inflation, ”said Draghi. Prices in the US are skyrocketing, and also in Europe they are pressing relentlessly so that a first ECB rate hike is upon us (21 July), which will be followed by others in the autumn.
“Compensating families and businesses in difficulty”
The theme isn’t just economic, of course. «We must avoid the mistakes made after the 2008 crisis: the energy crisis must not produce a return of populism. We have the tools to do this: we must mitigate the impact of rising energy prices, compensate families and businesses in difficulty, tax companies that make extraordinary profits “he observes, in a difficult context, given the caution on the subject. of Germany and the substantial neutrality of France. And the problem will still be structural: «Even when energy prices fall, it is unthinkable to go back to having the same dependence on Russia as we had. We must forever eliminate our dependence on Russia ». This is why the policy of diversification of supplies continues – Algeria, Qatar, Israel in perspective – so much so that dependence on Moscow gas pipelines has dropped from 40 to 25%. Furthermore, “in the current situation there are short-term needs that will require large investments in gas infrastructure for developing countries and beyond. We will have to make sure that they can then be converted to the use of hydrogen, a way to reconcile short-term needs with long-term ones ”.
Unlock the wheat by mid-September
On the table there is of course also in support of Ukraine in terms of military aid. The US and the UK are united, and now France and Germany are also in line with Italy after the mission to Kiev, albeit with different nuances. The G7 is not the most appropriate venue for this discussion – the NATO summit in Madrid on Wednesday-Thursday will be, when the entry into the alliance of Finland and Sweden, two historically neutral countries, will be sanctioned – but the presence of Joe Biden and the “directorate” nature of the group of 7 (plus the EU) makes this reference inevitable – and perhaps even useful – because in this historical phase it is the glue of all crises. Starting with the food issue: «We must accelerate our efforts on the food security front. It is essential to unblock wheat in Ukraine long before mid-September, when the new harvest will arrive. We must give all our support to the United Nations, so that it can proceed more quickly in its mediation work », observes Draghi.