NEWS

Mitsotakis: EU must act as one on natural gas

Mitsotakis: EU must act as one on natural gas

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke again to reporters about Ukraine and the need for a common EU strategy on natural gas procurement on his way to attending the European Council meeting in Brussels Thursday.

“We will soon have the opportunity, with the presence of President [Joe] Biden, to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine, to reaffirm our absolute and strong European unity in dealing with this barbaric Russian attack on Ukraine, and our support for President Zelenskyy so that Ukraine can defend itself in the best possible way,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on his way to the meeting.

“We will also have the opportunity to approve the very important text of the compass strategy which provides the framework for EU foreign policy and which includes Greek concerns and Greek reflections on the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Mitsotakis added.

He also said that Friday morning there will be a substantive discussion on energy. “It is very clear that the crisis in Ukraine has a very significant impact on world energy prices, natural gas prices and, of course, electricity prices, and this applies to all European citizens and all European businesses. All member states, to the best of their ability, support businesses and households through the national budgets. But that will not be enough. “We need a coordinated European response,” he said.

“The Greek government has submitted a proposal regarding the imposition of a ceiling on gas prices in the wholesale market so that both electricity prices and the wholesale gas market can be cut and the market not be a hostage to speculators but meet real supply and demand. At the same time, we support the need for the EU to be able to buy gas as a supranational entity and to negotiate with gas suppliers as one, both for gas coming through pipelines or liquefied natural gas, in order to further reduce prices. In other words, to do exactly the same thing we did with the Covid-19 [pandemic] when we bought vaccines as a whole and did not let the member states negotiate on their own. In order for this to happen, obviously all the member states must agree and delegate this responsibility to the EU. We will support this position because we believe that this way we will be able to leverage our purchasing power and further de-escalate gas prices,” Mitsotakis noted.

[Kathimerini/AMNA]