Rocketing natural gas prices sent economic shock waves across Europe this week, intensifying a continent-wide policy debate about how to shield populations from energy inflation and restore energy security.

Gas prices reached levels that were eight times higher than the corresponding period of 2021 after Russia announced unscheduled maintenance on Nord Stream 1, a trunk pipeline to Germany that has been operating at less than a quarter of its capacity.

Impacted by energy security concerns, surging inflation and rising US interest rates, the euro retreated to near parity with the dollar on Monday.