Friday, September 22

Sánchez: “We are going to be able to establish a reference price for gas and this is going to mean a drop in prices”

Satisfaction of Pedro Sánchez and his Portuguese counterpart, António Costa, at having managed to get the EU to recognize the “energy specificity” of the Iberian Peninsula, which, in practice, will make it possible to put a cap on gas prices in Spain and Portugal that suppose a reduction in the electricity bill. “We are going to be able to establish a reference price for the gas with which electricity is produced and this is going to lead to a drop in prices without a doubt”, summarized the Spanish president, who assured that the agreement reached within the EU “meets the expectations” that had been set. The appointment in Brussels was vital for the Government, which trusted the community response to the package of measures that it plans to approve on Tuesday to combat the economic effects of the war in Ukraine, although Sánchez has avoided the question about what it means for the negotiation that now undertake these initiatives.

The next step now will be to present a proposal to the European Commission, which will have to approve it urgently. Both leaders have assured that they will do so next week and that the effects, once the measure is approved, will be immediate. “As fast as possible”, they have said about its launch. The work is already prepared, because Spain and Portugal have gone hand in hand in this negotiation. “At last the Iberian exception is recognized”, the socialist celebrated.

“This is an exceptional, temporary measure that does not involve subsidizing gas,” Sánchez pointed out. “There are not going to be public aids to the gas companies”, he has subsequently clarified. In the Executive they recognized before the summit that the gas companies will have to be compensated and they were open to doing so through the Budgets or charged to the electricity bill.

It is a success for Sánchez and Costa, who have especially come up against resistance from Germany and the Netherlands, but who have had the support of Italy, Greece, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium, Bulgaria and Romania. “Pedro Sánchez has very successfully represented the interests of his country. Together with his Portuguese colleague, they have guaranteed that there are options for the Governments of Portugal and Spain to act”, recognized the German Chancellor, Olaf Scholz.

The European Council has lasted this Friday until the edge of 7:30 p.m. and the Spanish has come to force a stop in the middle of the meeting annoyed by a “leak that did not fit reality” about a veto threat that both he like Costa deny that it has occurred. “What happens in the Council stays in the Council”, he joked. After the recess, a new proposal has been put on the table that has been the final basis for the agreement.

Despite the celebration for the response to the “energy island” that the Iberian Peninsula represents, largely due to the importance of renewables, Sánchez acknowledged that they would have liked a common response from the twenty-seven and expressed hope that in the future there will be a scenario of joint energy purchases, that action be taken at a European level with the so-called benefits that have fallen from heaven, and that “the gas price cap will open up” as well as a reform of the energy market. “We have a market from the 90s”, he has pointed out.