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Kyriakos Mitsotakis to propose EU gas reduction for industries

Kyriakos Mitsotakis to propose EU gas reduction for industries

Alongside the national plan to support households and businesses in the face of gas and electricity price increases and to prepare for ensuring the adequacy of the gas supply chain, Greece is working on a European solution to the energy crisis.

In particular, government officials said on Monday that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected in view of Tuesday’s meeting of energy ministers in Brussels to propose the creation of a pan-European mechanism to reduce gas consumption in industry in return for compensation. The aim is to enable Europe to cope with the losses incurred in the event of a gas cut-off from Russia.

The move will follow previous proposals by Greece to address the energy crisis and its consequences for households and businesses in Europe. Mitsotakis’ proposal comes at a time when the European Commission’s recommendation for a mandatory 15% reduction in gas consumption is testing Europe’s cohesion and deepening the political and socio-economic crisis caused by the long period of high energy prices.

As Kathimerini reported in its Sunday edition, the proposal basically reflects Germany’s concerns about a complete disruption of gas flows from the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, a possibility that cannot be ruled out after the pipeline’s reopening following a 10-day maintenance period with volumes limited to 40%.

Europe’s strongest economy continues to be highly dependent on Russian gas while lacking liquified natural gas (LNG) supply infrastructure. Tuesday’s Energy Council meeting will determine the proposal’s fate, with Greece and 11 other nations having united to reject it. Spain, Portugal and Greece have already expressed their disapproval of the measure, calling it “ineffective and unfair.”

Before Tuesday’s debate, the position of France, which opposes the horizontal application of the proposal, will be crucial for the balance of power. France’s stance may also influence the general format of a compromise plan that can win the necessary increased majority.

For Greece, the Commission’s proposal would mean a deficit of 8.4 terawatts of gas, at a time when the country not only has no supply problem but also supports the markets of Bulgaria and Romania, where it exports 20% of the gas entering the Greek system.