Earlier this week, the European Commission proposed issuing emergency legislation that would force member states to cut back on their gas consumption by 15 percent for the next two years. This proposal is an emergency response to concerns that this winter, Russian President Vladimir Putin will starve Europe of its gas supplies. However, this proposal has sparked a huge row among EU nations, as several of them voiced concerns, with countries like Spain and Portugal outright opposing the scheme entirely.
Energy expert and author Javier Blas tweeted: “NORTH vs SOUTH 2.0:
“Spain, Greece and Portugal reject the EU call for 15 percent cuts in natural gas consumption to help Germany
“Spanish Energy Minister (clearly aiming at Berlin): ‘Contrary to other countries, Spain hasn’t been living beyond its means in energy terms’.”
Meanwhile, Chen Weihua, the EU Bureau Chief of the state-sponsored publication China Daily responded to the tweet saying “Revolt inside EU.
“Instead of engaging in tit for tat in energy tussle, more efforts should be made in diplomacy and dialogue to end the war.”
Spanish energy minister Teresa Ribera was clearly taking a jab at Olaf Scholz, as Germany is heavily dependent on Russian gas, importing about 55 percent of its supply from Moscow before the invasion of Ukraine.
Portugal’s energy secretary João Galamba also added: “We cannot assume a disproportionate sacrifice on which we were not even asked for a prior opinion”.
In response, German energy minister Robert Habeck said on Thursday: “The principle applies — we in Europe must save gas and that means even those countries that aren’t directly affected by the cut in gas supplies from Russia should help other countries.
“Otherwise, there is no European solidarity.”
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As the threat of a hellish winter without Russian gas looms, EU nations are beginning to break ranks to secure their own energy supplies.
Last week, Hungary declared an energy emergency, banning exports to other EU countries.
The Századvég Institute, a think-tank with ties to Budapest’s ruling Fidesz party, slammed EU Commission’s proposal, warning that it violated fundamental rights.
The group said: “The European Commission, which attacks Hungary with baseless accusations of the rule of law, came up with a plan that disregards EU law, which violates fundamental rights, as well as both individual and national sovereignty.”
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