Ribera asks Brussels for "maximum involvement" with the gas pipeline in the face of France's doubts

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, next to a turbine of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. / Afp

The minister considers that the interconnections between the member states should be "European policy to achieve the objectives"

Edurne Martinez

The new alternative proposed by Germany to reduce its high dependency on Russian gas goes through Spain and France, with a
new gas pipeline connecting the Peninsula with Central Europe through the Pyrenees. A project that has been on the table for "decades" but that had always had the opposition of France.

For this reason, now the third vice president and minister for the Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, asks the European Commission to have its "maximum involvement" in this project in the face of the doubts of the French neighbors. "The interconnections between member states are not just a matter of each country, but of European policy because achieving common objectives depends on it," Ribera told the media this Wednesday.

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The minister recalled that France is currently requesting energy from its neighboring countries and that in order to build Europe, a "common energy policy" and an infrastructure plan must be carried out at this time in accordance with the situation.

Already last week Ribera had positioned himself in favor of starting this project which, in his opinion, must have funding from Brussels as it is a "European project" to tackle the energy problem that the EU has after the Russian invasion of Ukraine .

Currently, the only gas connection that Spain has with France is a double gas pipeline that runs under the western part of the Pyrenees, one in Irún and the other in the Navarrese Pyrenees. Between the two they can barely export 8,000 million cubic meters a year.

The Midcat project, which runs through Catalonia and ends in Girona, was expected to double this shipment volume but was paralyzed in 2019 after having invested 440 million euros in it due to its high cost and the decision to bet on renewable energies. However, since the outbreak of the war, negotiations have resumed and Spain has asked the EU to help finance the construction of the little more than 200 kilometers that remain between Hostalric (Girona) and the French town of Barbaira.

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