Friday, February 23

Sánchez forces a pause at the EU summit annoyed by “leaks” of the negotiation on the energy crisis

Pedro Sánchez has left the table and has forced a break of half an hour in the negotiations to address the energy crisis in the European Council, according to diplomatic sources. The President of the Government, according to the sources, “is being very constructive”, and they explain that he “has been annoyed with a tweet in which he was pointed out as a vetoing leader and has said that it must be stopped. He has made a technical stop and now he continues to work ”. The tweet is from journalist Dave Keating of France 24.

The stop, “for half an hour”, occurred shortly before four in the afternoon. At the time, diplomatic sources stated: “Now there is a short break of 15 minutes. A new version of the text has been circulated which takes into account all the different amendments. All the delegations are studying it now… we are making progress, but it is still difficult to predict when this meeting will end”.

“It is being intense, we are beating the copper”, Government sources explain: “We are being constructive and it bothers them that they say that you are vetoing. Here we are all defending national interests. This is to be or not to be. Those who are against our proposals saying that they defend the market, in reality they are also defending the national interests of the countries that benefit from the design of the market. The market is broken, gas prices are divorced from reality.”

Leaders tackle the difficult task of finding a common way to curb rising energy prices just as Europe seeks to reduce reliance on Russia.

Thus, there is a group that calls for EU intervention, with caps on electricity or gas prices, and even changing the structure of the energy market. Mediterranean countries have led the push, with partial support from Belgium and Poland. And then there is another group, led by Germany and the Netherlands, that is fighting against these measures: they want to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy and quickly adopt the EU legislative package to reduce carbon emissions, the so-called Fit for 55. They defend that reforming the market could threaten Europe’s security of energy supply.

Government sources insist on “how difficult it is to put something on the table in the EU” and that Spain “says that with Europe we have to comply” and that “legality is not going to be skipped”. What the Executive is looking for is a mandate to the European Commission for an “urgent European legislative proposal”. But, they acknowledge, “Germany does not want to intervene in the market”, and, for this reason, the Executive tries to explain that the Spanish proposal “is surgical, temporary, and without impact on the market” when referring to the “energy island”.

“If Germany yields, others would not block,” the sources conclude: “The president is willing to beat the copper.”

These countries consider that capping the price of electricity can make energy producers take it to other places and “generate a huge problem of security of supply.”

In the days leading up to the meeting, they have come to accuse Pedro Sánchez of “Don Quixote fighting the windmills” and the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander De Croo, of being his “Sancho Panza”.