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December 10
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European governments have allocated almost EUR 500 billion to protect citizens and companies from soaring gas and electricity prices, Bruegel think tank reported.

The price hikes led governments to take measures to curb retail electricity prices, reduce energy taxes and provide subsidies to payers.

European gas and electricity prices jumped after Russia cut fuel exports. According to the study, the 27 EU countries collectively allocated 314 billion euros for pain relief, while the U.K. allocated 178 billion euros.

If you include the money that governments allocated to nationalizations, bailouts or loans to energy companies, EU governments spent about 450 billion euros, Reuters reported.

Many of the measures were designed to be temporary, but as the report notes, government intervention has swelled and become structual. Governments with more fiscal space will inevitably cope better with the energy crisis, overtaking their neighbors for limited energy resources during the winter months.

Germany, the EU's largest economy, is by far the biggest contributor in the bloc, giving 100 billion euros, compared to Italy's 59 billion euros or Estonia's 200 million euros. Croatia, Greece, Italy and Latvia have allocated more than 3 percent of their GDP to solve the energy crisis.

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