Belgian regulators raid Energy Giants' Offices on suspicion of price-fixing

Press Communication, 23 September 2009

Electrabel (GdfSuez) and SPE Luminus (EDF) Belgian headquarters subjected to swoop by 50 Inspectors

50 Belgian Energy Inspectors yesterday (22 September) descended on the offices of the two main Belgian electricity producers. Electrabel and SPE Luminus are under suspicion of systematically manipulating the market to keep energy prices artificially high.

By controlling the availability of energy supply, both companies are under investigation for manipulating energy supply, against the interests of consumers. The investigation demonstrates once again that the model of liberalised electricity and gas markets is structurally flawed. Championed as a way to guarantee competitive prices for users, it has instead lead to a stranglehold by the Energy Giants.

The European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), which represents workers in the sector, welcomed the rigourous actions of the Belgian authorities.

EPSU’s Deputy General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan commented that: “The collapse of the financial markets teaches us that corporations are not benevolent institutions. The chokehold that Electrabel and SPE Luminus has on energy prices is more evidence of a broken system. He added that; “The Regulators have done their job – now, for the sake of ordinary consumers, we need to fix the problem and regulate prices in the public interest”.

EPSU has consistently argued that this internal market is a barrier to investment, to security of supply and to a switch to a green economy.

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For further information, please contact:
Jan Willem Goudriaan or + 32 2 250180

EPSU is the European Federation of Public Service Unions. It is the largest federation of the ETUC and comprises 8 million public service workers from over 250 trade unions; EPSU organises workers in the energy, water and waste sectors, health and social services and local and national administration, in all European countries including in the EU’s Eastern Neighborhood. EPSU is the recognized regional organization of Public Services International (PSI).

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