Sánchez advocates the gas connection with Italy if France rejects it

Pedro Sánchez and Olaf Scholz, this Tuesday in Berlin. / EFE

The President of the Government shows his agreement with the German Chancellor in increasing gas pipelines throughout Europe and insists on "social sensitivity" in favor of the tax on banking and energy

Jose Maria Waiter

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, has expressed to the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, the need to increase gas connections between the Iberian Peninsula and the rest of Europe, so that the partners of the center and this stop depending on Russian arbitrariness . There are two ways by which Spain can provide gas: France or Italy. And Sánchez has not ruled out this last option, if the Executive of Emmanuel Macron rejects the Midcat gas pipeline through the Pyrenees from Catalonia.

Sánchez recalled that interconnections with Europe are below 10%, "very far from the commitments we made." For this reason, he thanked "Germany's commitment" to clarify that if the current connections "are not carried out at the right pace, that of Italy is also on the table." In other words, if France opposes Midcat, the path of the gas pipeline through the Mediterranean will open up.

Aware of the privileged position that Spain has in this regard, since it has almost a third of all the regasifiers that the EU has (the points of the ports where the methane tankers arrive with liquefied natural gas), Pedro Sánchez has insisted on the need to improve connections to "help the countries that need it most". “We cannot have bottlenecks”, he has expressed. »Whether it is for France or for Italy, Spain has to show solidarity and heed the call of friendly countries«, he stated in his appearance together with Olaf Scholz in Berlin.

The President of the Government has also defended the application of the new tax on banking and energy companies, a bill that continues its parliamentary process and whose implementation would be activated as of January 1, 2023. Sánchez has appealed to the "feeling social security" that "there has to be a fair distribution of burdens" as a result of the war. And that "it is not about stigmatizing any specific business sector" with this measure.

On the other hand, he has acknowledged that he "would love" to be able to travel to Algeria at a time when the diplomatic crisis caused by his decision to support the Moroccan autonomy plan for the Sahara is still open. "I would love to be the one to go to Algeria », he indicated after a journalist asked about this possibility after the visits of the French or Italian leaders to that country from which Spain receives 25% of the natural gas.

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