LISBON- Portugal and Greece joined Spain this Thursday in rejecting the plan proposed by the European Commission to reduce gas consumption by 15%, with the aim of compensating for the drop in Russian supply.
through Germany via the Nord Stream gas pipeline after ten days of maintenance work, but there is uncertainty as to whether the Russian government will continue to maintain the energy crisis in winter.
What about Portugal, Spain and gas?
“Portugal is going to oppose” this “disproportionate” measure, declared Joao Galamba, Secretary of State for the Environment and Energy, in an interview with the newspaper Publico published this Thursday.
The proposal is not “adapted to countries that are not interconnected” to the gas network, such as Portugal, he explained.
Greece also said on Thursday that it opposes the European proposal.
“The government does not agree in principle with the European Commission’s proposal for a 15% reduction in gas consumption,” government spokesman Yiannis Economou told reporters.
“We do not agree with the compulsory nature of the measure, nor with the level of the announced reduction,” Greek Minister Kostas Skrekas told local radio.
Portugal and Greece thus join the position of Spain expressed by its Minister of Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, who considers that the plan is not necessarily “fair” or “effective”.
“Spanish families are not going to suffer gas or electricity cuts in their homes. Whatever happens, Spain is going to defend the position of the Spanish industry,” he guaranteed.
The European Commission on Wednesday asked the 27 to voluntarily reduce their demand for gas, a measure that should be discussed on July 26.
A complete cut off of imports or a drastic reduction in the flow from east to west could have a catastrophic effect on the European economy, causing industries to close and forcing families to reduce heating.
The plan, which must still be debated by the Member States of the European Union, foresees that each country does “everything possible” to reduce between August 2022 and March 2023 its gas consumption by at least 15% in relation to the average of the last five years in the same period.