France agrees to consider connecting to the MidCat gas pipeline from Spain

Image of a gas flame burning. Credit: Marian Weyo/Shutterstock.com

After originally opposing the project, France has agreed to consider connecting to the MidCat gas pipeline from Spain.

 

Until today, Tuesday, August 30, France had opposed the construction of MidCat, a gas pipeline from Spain. Bruno Le Maire, the French Economy Minister, has now agreed to examine this possibility.

His U-turn on the project came after calls from both Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Spanish Government, and Olaf Scholz, the German Chancellor. “From the moment that the President of the Spanish Government and the German Chancellor request it, from the moment that friends ask for it, we examine the demand of our friends, of our partners”, said Mr Le Maire.

He warned however that if this project did not materialise, there is an alternative that the European Commission is already planning. That reportedly involves connecting Spain with Italy through the Mediterranean Sea.

Le Maire pointed out the current issue that Spain accounts for 30 per cent of the regasification possibilities of all of Europe but cannot take advantage of its full potential due to the ‘bottleneck’ with France.

“That is what we have to resolve, be it for France or for Italy. But Spain is willing to show solidarity and respond to the call of our friendly and brother countries such as Germany, which is suffering from Putin’s unacceptable blackmail”, continued Le Maire.

Two weeks ago, the French Ministry of Energy Transition indicated its strong reluctance to this new gas pipeline. This was despite statements made by several European officials in favour of the infrastructure with regard to the situation of historically high energy prices due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today underlined his government’s ‘total support’ for the MidCat project as a “long-term” solution to European gas supply.

“Security of supplies is part of national, German, and European security”, Scholz said during an appearance in Berlin today with his Spanish counterpart. Pedro Sanchez had invited to participate in the start of the extraordinary two-day German Council of Ministers meeting held in Meseberg, as reported by diariodesevilla.es.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]

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