France, which has so far opposed the project of a new gas pipeline with Spain, is going to examine this possibility because they are asked by the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, who are “friends”. This is the announcement made this Tuesday by the French Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, who in statements to the press did not go further when asked after his speech before the summer university of the French employers' association (Medef) in Paris. “From the moment that the President of the Spanish Government and the German Chancellor request it, from the moment that our friends ask for it, we examine the request of our friends, of our partners,” he pointed out.
Sánchez reaffirms, together with Scholz, his intention to accelerate the interconnection of gas via France or Italy
"Spain and Germany -reiterated Le Maire- are very close partners of France, so that when they make a proposal we examine it". Both governments today reiterated that position in Berlin. The French minister also recalled that this infrastructure project "is a very old issue."
In fact, the two countries worked in the past on the possibility of building a gas pipeline between the two countries through Catalonia (MidCat) that would be added to the two that exist in the western part, but it was abandoned in 2019.
The French Ministry of Energy Transition indicated two weeks ago its strong reluctance to this new gas pipeline, despite the statements of several European officials in favor of infrastructure in the context of the situation of historically high energy prices due to the invasion Ukrainian Russian.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz today underlined his government's "full support" for MidCat as a "long-term" solution to European gas supply.
The "security of supplies is part of national, German and European security," said Scholz during an appearance with Sánchez, invited to participate in the start of the extraordinary two-day German Council of Ministers held in Meseberg, on the outskirts of Berlin.
Le Maire has also openly referred to the need to decouple the price of gas from electricity in the rest of Europe. "It is an urgency", assured the French Minister of Economy, giving support to a possible expansion of the 'Iberian exception' that already operates in Spain and Portugal for the rest of the EU countries. The French politician has urged European countries to agree on this reform “faster”. “You cannot ask the French to pay the low cost of nuclear energy at the price of gas”, he pointed out, giving the example of the operation “of our Spanish friends”.