Monday, April 22

“It is time to start interconnections from Spain of gas and green hydrogen”

The president of the Government, Pedro Sanchez, hopes that the situation that Europe is experiencing in the face of the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine will allow add to the European summit in Versailles new support for its proposals in energy matter that has been raised in recent months.

Sánchez will travel this Thursday to the French town of Versailles to participate in the informal meeting of EU leaders called by the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, on the occasion of the six-monthly community presidency held by his country during the first half of this year. .

The summit was initially convened to discuss the EU’s economic growth model, but the Ukraine situation has made this the central issue of the meeting of heads of state and European governments.

Government sources have stressed that Sánchez will reiterate the need for Europe to continue showing its unity in supporting Ukrainein the steps taken in response to this country’s request to join the EU and in the adoption of new sanctions against Russia.

For this reason, they refer to the debate among European leaders regarding the possibility that, as the United States has announced, the EU joins the decision to stop buying oil and gas from that country.

Energy will be a key aspect of this summit with an eye on the EU taking steps towards its autonomy and becoming less and less dependent on Moscow.

The debate around this matter considers the Government that opens the door for the proposals that Sánchez has been defending since last summer to reduce the energy prices keep adding support despite the initial reluctance with which some countries welcomed them.

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Only six months ago the Government considers that it seemed unthinkable to think about the reform of the energy market that Sánchez proposed, but since then it hase have been taking steps and the latest communication from the European Comission addresses issues relevant to it.

Among them, there is talk of limit prices, intervention in retail markets, strategic reserves and joint purchases.

Moncloa highlights that more and more countries are approaching the Spanish position because they have realized that the contagion of gas prices on electricity has very damaging consequences for their economies and devastating effects on their industries.

The hope is that in the future there will be decisions in this regard within the European Council, whose next meeting will be held at the end of the month in Brussels.

Sánchez also intends to highlight at the summit that Spain can play a relevant role in the energy autonomy of the EU by promoting interconnections.

Regarding the EU’s response to Ukrainian refugees, he will defend that solidarity with Ukraine continue to be shown in this aspect as well, an issue in which the President of the Government has already stated that Spain will be “exemplary”.

But, in addition, it considers that this situation should facilitate the negotiations that allow an agreement on the Pact of Migration and Asylum of the EU.

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Sánchez will travel to Versailles after visiting a reception center in the Madrid town of Pozuelo de Alarcón where some Ukrainian refugees are already housed.

The sessions of the summit will last until noon on Friday, and at the end of it, together with the rest of the community leaders, they will participate in the act of homage to the victims of terrorism that will also be held in Versailles on the European day in which tribute is paid to these victims.

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