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Energy crisis in Europe has killed more people than COVID-19

EU Energy Crisis (Image: Vyacheslav Lopatin via Alamy Stock)

Official data shows 59,700 people died with COVID 19 in 28 European nations last winter, however, a larger number, 68,000, died because they could not heat their homes.

These statistics are startling but citizens we have been speaking to are not surprised.

Energy poverty is now, in Europe and all over the world, a bigger problem, a much more bigger [sic] problems than COVID.

Citizen 01

I think government needs to make a change into their politics in order to help poor people, and also middle class people, to face this problem concerning energy.

Citizen 02

The Economist magazine study focused on the period from last November to February. Data was gathered from all 27 EU countries, with the exception of Malta and Cyprus.

Britain, Norway and Switzerland were included. However, the bottom line is that moves by EU leaders to cut off cheap energy supplies from Russia have had deadly consequences.

Meanwhile, the latest figure relating to EU financial support for Ukraine has just been released. Many struggling citizens will find it eye watering.

If we tot up all the support, military, civilian, humanitarian, financial aid, refugee support, if we tot up all of that aid to Ukraine, the EU and its member states have provided 65 billion Euros, 65 billion Euros.

Josep Borrell, EU Foreign Policy Chief

On Thursday the EU Commission admitted the core inflation rate in the Euro-zone, which analysts say is directly linked to sanctions against Russia, remains stubbornly high.

This hits people's purchasing power, especially in lower and middle income groups, and hurts the competitiveness of EU companies.

Valdis Domrovskis, EU Economy Commissioner

The European Central Bank continues to increase interest rates to try and bring down inflation.

Based on statistical models excess deaths relating to high energy costs would have been much higher last winter if weather conditions had not been so mild.

It begs the question how many could die during the forthcoming winter if EU authorities fail to secure reasonably priced, reliable supplies, and if conditions turn out to be much colder?

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