Soaring utility bills alarm Europe, raise fears for winter

  • FILE - In this Jan. 14, 2021 file photo, Tugboats get into position on the Russian pipe-laying vessel “Fortuna” in the port of Wismar, Germany. Prices for electricity and natural gas are surging in Europe, raising concerns about politically unpopular increases in utility bills for consumers and even possible gas shortages when the weather gets colder. ( Jens Buettner/dpa via AP, File)

MADRID — Wholesale prices for gas and electricity are surging across Europe, raising the prospect of increases in already-high utility bills and further pain for people who have taken a financial hit from the coronavirus pandemic.