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Spain: More measures to already disputed energy bill

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Spain prepares to add more measures to the controversial bill, which reduces profits of energy companies in an attempt to protect consumers.

The Energy and Environment Minister, Teresa Ribera, said on Thursday the measure is to protect consumers from high energy prices.

Companies such as the wind energy giant, Iberdrola, have complained to the EU about the decree.

They said the decree is a response from authorities to the local increase in energy prices and overall consumption.

They added that the high demand is a result of the recovery from COVID19 and low gas stocks.

Companies anticipated the bill skimming nearly 2.6 billion euros from their earnings.

However, the cost is now more likely to increase due to the uptrend in gas prices.

Ribera tweeted she hoped for even more measures in the coming weeks, adding that this is reasonable and protects vulnerable consumers.

However, she did not reveal any details on what these additions might be.

Shares of the most-damaged energy companies have recovered since they had lost ground at the beginning of the decree.

Iberdrola shares traded over 2%, as they previously lost 7.5% of their value in the market since September.

Moreover, Enel unit Endesa, which operates in Spain only, has had its shares spike over 3%, previously lost 10%.

“It is a positive message to give regulatory security and speed up the energy transition,” said Fernando Garcia, director of European utilities equity research at RBC Capital Markets.

“But my question is whether the approved regulation could bring about precisely the opposite,” he continued.

“I hope these words signal a return to more reasonable regulatory measures,” he added.

After a fierce debate, Congress ratified the decree with 182 votes in favor and 150 against.

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