Greece rejects European Commission proposal to cut gas consumption by 15%

Following Spain Greece and Portugal have rejected a European Commission proposal calling for a 15% reduction in natural gas consumption, mainly to help Germany.

Government spokesman Yiannis Ikonomou told reporters this afternoon: “The Greek government disagrees in principle with the Commission’s proposal to reduce natural gas consumption by 15%.” He added: “We submitted our own proposals.”

Speaking earlier on Skai TV, Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas said that 70% of the natural gas imported by Greece is used to generate electricity, meaning that any cuts will affect households and businesses. He also said the country had already expressed its opposition to the proposal and had “taken all necessary action” to secure supplies.

Similar reactions were expressed by Spain and Portugal. Spain’s energy minister, clearly targeting Berlin and Merkel’s 2010-2020 austerity policies, said: “Unlike other countries, Spain is not living beyond its means in terms of energy“. “Spain opposes the imposition of demands that exceed that part of the obligations that apply to us,” Teresa Ribera, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Ecological Transition, was quoted as saying at a press conference by the newspaper Independiente.

She expressed deep regret over the “lack of dialogue” between the European Commission and member countries and appealed to energy ministers to resolve differences at a meeting in Brussels a week later. Ribera said the government will protect the interests of the country’s business community, as the reduction in gas use could lead to a “serious loss of competitiveness” for Spanish industry.

As the vice premier made it clear, “whatever happens”, the Spaniards will not suffer from the reduction in supplies, given the reserves and ability of Spain to import liquefied natural gas. Commission proposals must be approved by a qualified majority of the EU countries in the Council before they come into force. EU.

ABC notes that Spain, thanks to its infrastructure, is not as dependent on Russian supplies as other European countries. At the same time, Bloomberg reported that in June Russia became the second gas exporter to the country, displacing Algeria from this place. The agency, citing data from the gas network operator Enagás, said that last month natural gas imports from Russia doubled compared to May and reached 8.75 GWh (about 685 million cubic meters per month).

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