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Triebe, Benjamin

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 12/08/2014

Russia menaced by new planned economy

Moscow's announcement that it would impose a limit on food prices is a new form of planned economy, the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung criticises: "Even the introduction of state-administered prices is now being discussed. In addition to the sanction spiral, the Kremlin threatens to set an intervention spiral in motion. Capping prices in dozens or even hundreds of product categories would create false incentives and distortions - not to mention the difficulties of implementing and monitoring prices. ... If the Kremlin caps the prices of staple food products, retailers may try to compensate for the rise in their acquisition costs by increasing the price of other goods. Or domestic producers could be given higher subsidies to take the sting out of the lower retail prices. Whatever happens, any distortion will make further intervention necessary. Yet the lessons to be learned from the planned economy experience were pretty clear."

Neue Zürcher Zeitung - Switzerland | 21/05/2014

No sign of hoped-for gas deal

Several economic agreements were signed during Putins visit to Shanghai but there was no deal between state-owned Gazprom and China in the natural gas sector, so crucial to Russia. The liberal-conservative Neue Zürcher Zeitung speculates that this was due to the Kremlin's refusal to lower the price: "We're talking about at least 38 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, to be delivered for thirty years starting 2018 or 2019 - through a pipeline that hasn't been built yet. Analysts put the total value of the deal at 400 billion dollars. 'Only' the contract price, the basis for a complicated price formula, has yet to be agreed on, we keep hearing. But that price means everything for Gazprom. And the Chinese, who with pipelined natural gas from Central Asia and liguid gas (LNG) from overseas have other sources at their disposal, are clearly tough negotiators."

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