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Regulated Natural Gas Market Change Raises Deco Complaints



Regulated Natural Gas Market Change Raises Deco Complaints

MIn the process of switching to a natural gas supplier in the regulated market, more than disadvantages, there are “difficulties” that force consumers to contact the Deco consumer protection association, Ana Sofia Ferreira from the consumer support department explained to Lusa.

“We have received several requests for information and requests for support as part of this transition to a regulated natural gas market,” he said, adding that among the main doubts is ignorance of the change process and lack of information. .

“Many” customers who contact customer service are unaware of the change supplier date when they will receive a bill or terminate a contract and start a new one, others because they were surprised by an increase in their electricity bill because they lost rebates because that did not have in one supplier of gas and electricity.

“We see that consumers were not properly warned about the consequences of a possible change” in the regulated gas market, said Ana Sofía Ferreira, explaining that changing the gas supplier while maintaining the same electricity supplier could lead to fines. for the loss of discounts provided under contracts with both services at the same time.

“The electricity tariff is getting more expensive, and, in fact, what you gain by switching to a regulated natural gas market, you will eventually lose,” he said, recalling that the intention of the legislator, allowing the transition to a regulated market, is not about that the consumer is harmed.

“Intention [do legislador] is to respond to the energy crisis and inflation that we are experiencing and help the consumer,” he recalled, adding that Deco also asked the Ministry of the Environment to clarify, by passing the law, that the transition to a regulated market cannot imply a penalty for early termination of the contract, which has an agreed loyalty period.

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According to Deco, not all consumers are ready for the possibility of switching to a regulated electricity market.

However, those who change are required to deal with two systems, one for the transition to the regulated gas market and the other for the electricity market, which are two different processes, with different actors and different requirements, which, in the opinion of the association, make process is not easy consumer.

At the end of last week, the association sent a letter to the Ministry of the Environment, in which it expressed its “concern” about the process of switching to merchants on the regulated market, explained Ana Sofía Ferreira.

In the document, the association called for making the two systems equivalent, namely in terms of requirements, and instead of each company creating its own platform to move to the regulated market, a single platform was created in which it was possible for the consumer to move simultaneously to the regulated gas and electricity market.

According to the proposed state budget, the transition to a regulated natural gas market will cost 60 million euros in 2023 due to the loss of potential VAT revenue.

Based on the assumption that all consumers eligible to return to the regulated market would actually return to the regulated tariff, the government estimated the maximum cumulative savings in returning to the regulated market to be €56.7 million per month, the document said.

Assuming equal pricing conditions in the free and regulated markets for 12 months, the government estimates that the measure could generate “total cumulative savings for consumers of more than €680.4 million in 2023.”

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Covered 1.5 million consumers of low pressure natural gas with a consumption of less than 10,000 cubic meters (m3) per year.

Read also: Nigeria: ‘significant interruptions’ in gas supplies (including to Galp)

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OBSERVATION | Mercadona opens store in Alverca and recruits staff



OBSERVATION |  Mercadona opens store in Alverca and recruits staff

Supermarket company Mercadona is set to open a new store in Alverca do Ribatejo next year and is recruiting 65 full-time and part-time employees.

The company said in a statement that the job offer already reflects the salary update that the company will apply from January 2023, which will see the starting salary of its employees in Portugal at €12,410 per year. Mercadona promises employees a salary increase with an annual increase of 11 percent, which allows them to achieve a monthly salary of 1414 euros gross (including twelfths) for a maximum of 4 years of service. In addition, employees also receive an annual goal-based bonus, which corresponds to an additional salary in the first 4 years and two additional earnings in subsequent years.

“Mercadona continues to focus on job creation and for this reason the new offerings support the drive to build a team focused on excellence and service, highly motivated and aligned with the company’s vision. To this end, in addition to an attractive salary and a permanent contract from day one, Mercadona offers its employees the opportunity to develop within the company.

Mercadona has a differentiated HR policy that focuses on career building, salary growth, equity and internal promotion, “which is one of the main ways to evaluate and create development opportunities.”

Those interested in applying can do so on the Mercadona website under the Jobs section. The company opened its first supermarket on July 2, 2019 in Canidelo, Vila Nova de Gaia and currently has 38 stores in the areas of Porto, Braga, Aveiro, Viana do Castelo, Setubal, Santarem, Viseu and Leiria. In 2021, it achieved sales of 415 million euros and paid 62 million euros in taxes through the Portuguese company Irmãdona Supermercados, based in Vila Nova de Gaia. The year ended with a team of 2,500 employees and an investment in Portugal of 110 million euros. In order to share with the community a part of what it receives, in total Mercadona has already donated 670 tons of basic food in the first half of 2022 through its stores in Portugal.

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“These donations, which are equivalent to more than 11,000 carts, were for more than 30 social canteens, five food banks and other social institutions,” the company explains.

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Another crypto giant falls: BlockFi asks for protection from creditors



Another crypto giant falls: BlockFi asks for protection from creditors

After FTX, it was the turn of crypto lending platform BlockFi to seek creditor protection under Chapter 11 insolvency law in the United States. The lawsuit was filed in a New Jersey court about a month after FTX collapsed.

The company lists more than 100,000 creditors in the documents that started the lawsuit and are cited by various international press outlets. The table features FTX’s second-largest creditor, with $275 million in debt to the platform, which until recently was led by Sam Bankman-Fried.

The list is topped by Ankura Trust, a creditor representation company, with a $729 million loan. BlockFi has already issued a red alert to the market, freezing the withdrawal of assets from the platform.

In July, FTX signed a $400 million credit line agreement with BlockFi with the option to acquire the FTX platform for up to $240 million in the event of default. This came after the collapse of the crypto market in the first half of the year was exacerbated by the collapse of the Terra USD ecosystem and brought the platform to the ground.

The risk of infection remains

The collapse of FTX is starting to infect other “players” in the market. The crisis of confidence experienced during the “collapse” of the Terra USD ecosystem has returned, and several platforms have already frozen the withdrawal of assets. In addition to BlockFi, Genesis, a platform primarily dedicated to crypto lending, has suspended asset buyback operations, citing an “abnormal number of withdrawal requests” for its decision.

Redemption requests made on the platform’s crypto-deposit arm, Genesis Global Capital, have exceeded the company’s liquidity, so the company, along with a team of advisors, is exploring a range of options to try to get back to normal, according to Acting CEO Dear Islim, Bloomberg was quoted as saying. The Gemini Trust, led by the Winklevoss twins, has also decided to freeze the withdrawal of assets from the Gemini Earn program, designed for deposits that earn interest on the “tokens” held. The company guaranteed that this decision would not affect other products or services.

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In turn, the Hong Kong-based platform AXX suspended the withdrawal of assets for ten days this Monday, reporting a lack of liquidity. “If AAX is unable to obtain funding that will allow us to resume operations, we are committed to initiating legal procedures to ensure asset allocation,” the company said in a statement quoted by Bloomberg.

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The protests in China sent Wall Street into the red. Europe falls after Lagarde speech – Markets in a minute



European markets are in the red.  Interest on Portugal's debt hits 2.5% - Markets in a minute

Euribor climbs three, six and 12 months to new highs in nearly 14 years.

Euribor rates rose today to new highs since early 2009 in three, six and 12 months.

The six-month Euribor rate, most used in Portugal for home loans and entering positive territory on June 6, rose today to 2.436% plus 0.062 points, a new high since January 2009.

The six-month average Euribor rose from 1.596% in September to 1.997% in October.

The six-month Euribor has been negative for six years and seven months (from November 6, 2015 to June 3, 2022).

The three-month Euribor, which entered positive territory for the first time since April 2015 on July 14, also rose today, setting a new high since February 2009 at 1.954% plus 0.032 points.

The three-month Euribor was negative between 21 April 2015 and 13 July last year (seven years and two months).

The three-month average Euribor rose from 1.011% in September to 1.428% in October.

In the same sense over a 12-month period, Euribor rose today, settling at 2.892%, up 0.032 points from Friday and a new high since January 2009.

After rising to 0.005% on April 12, positive for the first time since February 5, 2016, the 12-month Euribor has been in positive territory since April 21.

The average Euribor rate for 12 months increased from 2.233% in September to 2.629% in October.

Euribor began to rise more significantly from February 4, after the European Central Bank (ECB) acknowledged that it could raise key interest rates this year due to rising inflation in the eurozone, and the trend accelerated with the onset of the Russian crisis. Invasion of Ukraine on February 24th.

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On October 27, to curb inflation, the ECB raised three key interest rates by 75 basis points, the third consecutive increase this year, after raising three interest rates by 50 basis points on July 21. growth after 11 years, and on September 8 by 75 basis points.

Changes in Euribor interest rates are closely linked to increases or decreases in ECB key interest rates.

Three-, six- and 12-month Euribor rates hit record lows respectively: -0.605% on December 14, 2021, -0.554% and -0.518% on December 20, 2021.

Euribor rates are set at the average rate at which a group of 57 eurozone banks are willing to lend money to each other in the interbank market.


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