The exploding prices for electricity and gas are not exclusive to Germany. In the rest of Europe, too, energy is incredibly expensive right now. But not everywhere do the extreme prices reach the citizen directly. What are these countries doing differently?

Across Europe, energy prices have risen sharply and inflation is at levels not seen in decades. Governments are reacting with a wide variety of measures to relieve the burden on citizens and companies:

GREAT BRITAIN: London caps energy costs for two years: average households should then pay a maximum of 2,500 pounds (around 2,800 euros) a year. The costs of electricity and gas for companies are to be capped at half the market price. The conservative government also wants to lower the top tax rate from 45 to 40 percent.

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SPAIN: The socialist government in Madrid is going in the opposite direction: it has announced a tax on the wealthy from January. According to the government, “no more than one percent of the population” is affected for two years. Details have not yet been given. From 2023, energy suppliers will also have to pay an extra tax on their profits. Previously, there was a fuel discount, free public transport tickets, an increase in social security and scholarships for students.

FRANCE: In France, a price brake for gas and electricity will apply from next year. The prices may then rise by a maximum of 15 percent, the rest is taken over by the state. This should limit the increase in monthly heating costs to around 25 euros. As in the previous year, around 40 percent of low-income households are to receive an energy check for 100 or 200 euros at the end of the year.

ITALY: The outgoing Prime Minister Mario Draghi announced further relief measures in mid-September. These include one-off payments for retirees and low-income earners, an extension of the energy tax cut and business aid. There was already a tank discount in early summer. To finance this, Rome wants to levy a ten percent tax on additional profits from energy companies.

AUSTRIA: In the neighboring country, every adult receives a one-off payment of 500 euros – children receive half. The payment consists of the €250 climate bonus, which aims to mitigate the impact on consumers of a new carbon tax on companies, and an additional €250 because of the price hikes. Four million low-income households also received a voucher worth 150 euros.

NETHERLANDS: The Hague wants to reduce energy taxes from January, as well as excise duties on fuel. The child benefit should be increased. The minimum wage is set to rise by 10 percent. A reduction in income tax is planned, which will particularly benefit low earners.

GREECE: Low earners are to receive a one-off payment of 250 euros in December, and more households than before are to receive a heating subsidy. Since the beginning of the year, the government has spent eight billion euros to lower electricity prices. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has also promised an increase in pensions and the minimum wage. Athens also wants to levy a tax on additional profits from energy companies.