Plan B discussed for EU ban on Iranian oil

Greek government officials are on Tuesday due to discuss contingency plans for dealing with electricity shortages if the European Union decides to move ahead with an embargo on oil imports from Iran, which accounts for close to a third of the fuel that Greece imports.

Sources said that officials will meet at the Foreign Ministry to examine how Greece would cope with a ban on Iranian oil. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger suggested in early December that there was a consensus within the Union on the need to halt imports of Iranian oil. Greece made it known that it was against the ban as it imports about 35 percent of its fuel from Iran. Italy and Spain are other major importers of Iranian crude.

However, the Greek Foreign Ministry believes that the embargo will be back on the EU agenda soon. The government has asked Greek fuel importers to seek alternative sources of oil that they could switch to but they have recently had trouble convincing suppliers in other countries to extend them credit due to the economic crisis in Greece.

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