Business

EU divided on gas rationing — Analysis

Spain, Greece and Portugal have all come out against Brussels’ plan to lower consumption by 15%

Spain, Greece, Portugal and Portugal stated their disapproval of an EU plan that would allow them to reduce their winter natural gas consumption by 15%.

Announced by the European Commission on Wednesday, the ‘Save Gas for a Safe Winter’ proposal would entail EU member states reducing their gas use by switching to other power sources and ordering their citizens to ration their own usage. If the commission’s proposal is adopted, member states would be required to report on their progress toward the 15% target every two months, and EU authorities would have the power to declare a state of emergency and make the reduction mandatory.

“I regret deeply to inform you that Spain doesn’t support this proposal.”Soon after it was announced, Teresa Ribera (Spanish Energy Minister) stated the following: Ribera mentioned that the European Council did not have a discussion about the plan. Ribera said that they had decided to appoint the commission. “cannot demand a sacrifice”When “they have not even asked our prior opinion.” 

“Unlike other countries, we Spaniards have not lived beyond our means in terms of energy,” Ribera added. 

Echoing former German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s assertion in 2009 that Mediterranean countries “were living beyond their means” in the runup to the financial crisis, Ribera’s remark was likely aimed directly at Berlin. Germany has been dependent on Russian natural gas heavily to fuel its industries. Germany now faces economic ruin due to the voluntary cancellation of Nord Stream 2 and support EU sanctions on Moscow.

A day later, Greece vowed to oppose the plan. Giannis Okonomou, government spokesperson, stated that Athens was against the plan. “does not agree in principle with the EU proposal for a 15% reduction in gas usage.”Oikonomou stated that government had “submitted our own proposals”Instead, you can go to the EU. Russia is the main supplier of 40% of Greece’s natural gas. 

Portugal, too “does not accept” the EU’s proposal, Energy Minister Joao Galamba told Portuguese newspaper Publico on Thursday. “There are countries that have not protected themselves and are now asking for help,”He made apparent references to Germany and said that the bloc-wide program of rationing does not take into consideration the fact Portugal has no pipeline connectivity to the rest Europe. This means that any gas that is saved in Portugal cannot be used elsewhere to compensate for shortfalls. 

Bloomberg reported that Spain, Portugal, and Greece have publicly opposed the plan. However, officials from Italy, Poland, and Hungary have reservations as well, Bloomberg reported.  Hungary’s opposition is unsurprising, as Budapest has staunchly opposed the sanctioning of Russian oil and gas during successive rounds of EU sanctions on Moscow.

READ MORE
UK sanctions Russian oil and coal

Ursula von der Leyen (President of European Commission) described the plan in an attempt to get ready for a “total cutoff of Russian gas,”Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, is being accused “blackmailing us”With energy. 

Putin said Tuesday that Gazprom was the Russian energy giant. “ready to pump as much as necessary, but [the EU] closed everything themselves.” Putin has previously called the bloc’s sanctions on Russia “insane and thoughtless,”European leaders are accused of economic crimes. “suicide”The US. 

Tags

Related Articles

Back to top button