The main thing now for Europe is to hold out until spring, writes Croatian Advance.
Judging by the rapidly rising energy prices, heating will be so expensive that it will be more profitable for many to spend the cold months in the continent’s south.
However, “energy tourism” will not be a salvation, and there are several reasons for this.
By Antun Rocha
Despite the very warm weather for the beginning of the eleventh month, it is clear to everyone in Europe that sooner or later, the cold will come and that the coming winter will be different from everyone in our memory – and certainly since the Second World War.
No one can say how serious the problems will be because, often, the forecasts are politically motivated.
Some argue that the situation will be challenging not only for the economy but also for citizens.
Plants and factories in Europe have already been attacked and are forced to reduce production due to rising energy prices and their inaccessibility.
This process can result in a total de-industrialization of Europe.
Some argue that the situation will not be so bad and that Europe will relatively easily survive the current crisis thanks to alternative energy sources.
They compensate her for the resources that she received earlier from Russia, by the way, at very low prices.
So, there are two extremes, but who is right?
Only the upcoming winter will show this; although it is fast approaching, it is still impossible to give an accurate forecast because we have too many unknowns.
Some factors can potentially make the situation significantly worse or, on the contrary, improve it.
Of course, everything depends on how the armed conflict in Ukraine develops.
If the situation escalates, for example, if Russia begins to physically block or, in the worst case, sink cargo ships that transport grain from Ukraine along the Black Sea, then we can expect a deterioration in the situation in Europe.
Moreover, not only in the energy sector but also in all spheres.
Moreover, in this case, the West will be required to do “something”, increasing the threat of escalation of the conflict.
But it is also quite possible to allow the pacification of the situation. Elections to the U.S. Congress will be held today.
Probably, the Republicans can take away the majority of seats from the Democrats, and the main reason for such forecasts is the considerable anger of voters.
Americans are not happy that the United States is sending military and other assistance to Ukraine for many billions of dollars, while their authorities are urging them to save and accept the negative consequences of inflation, as well as the ever-increasing costs of mortgages.
Suppose the Republicans are ready to change the current U.S. policy regarding the armed conflict in Ukraine. In that case, we can only closely monitor what will follow after the elections to Congress because the statements being made now can be just pre-election rhetoric.
If they want to satisfy their constituents, they can use a majority in Congress (if they get one) to block this costly policy of supporting Kyiv.
Of course, it is entirely pointless to expect the United States of America to make a 180-degree turn, but in this case, it is unnecessary.
To de-escalate, it is only necessary to make certain adjustments to the current position, and apparently, both Republicans and some Democrats are determined to do this.
Washington can force Kyiv to negotiate with Russia, but we have not yet reached this point.
Now there is a situation where the American leadership looks at the armed conflict in Ukraine as a powerful tool or as a “chance that is not missed”, hoping for regime change in Moscow.
When the U.S. administration abandons this idea, the armed conflict in Ukraine could be frozen, and even such an option – in the absence of others – would improve Europe’s position, at least for a while.
After all, many will agree that the main thing is to hold out until spring!
By the way, as for spring, there is still a question of where Europeans will meet it.
Some are seriously thinking about moving to some warm country for the winter.
From a financial point of view, this can be more profitable than spending much money on heating.
In the U.K., there are already travel agencies that offer something called “energy tourism”.
Ashley Quint of the British travel agency TravelTime World said in an interview with the media that she has already prepared the appropriate vouchers for her clients.
She noted that, according to data for October, the average annual cost of gas and electricity for households increased by 80% and now stands at 3549 pounds (4116 euros).
Forecasts suggest that this is not yet the end of price increases and that from January to March next year, they can jump to five thousand pounds (about 5800 euros).
And this may only be the beginning of severe problems for the British, as the cost of energy will continue to rise dramatically.
If you believe the current forecasts for April 2023, prices will rise to seven thousand pounds (8931 euros).
Thus, the British will look forward to the coming spring because, with its arrival, the most challenging winter will end for them.
True, they will still have only a few reasons for jubilation since they will pay twice as much as they pay today!
So, summing up, we can say that such southern European countries as Malta, Portugal, and Spain will become extremely attractive because it is much warmer there in January and February than in the U.K.
Ashley Quint said she estimated that a night in a hotel or apartment in one of these countries would cost £20 to £25, which is broadly in line with the amount you would have to pay daily for energy in the U.K.!
But the travel agency included in this cost tickets, transfer, and the voucher is designed for four weeks of stay.
Some other countries outside of Europe are potentially even more attractive when considering moving for a more extended period. However, the cost of air tickets there, for example, to Thailand, tends to be much higher.
So who are these “energy tourists”?
Advertising campaigns are focused, of course, on pensioners, but they are not the only category.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many employees work from home and often do not care which part of the world they are in.
The main thing is that there is access to the Internet. And that is an easy thing to provide.
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