Spain trusts that the EU will approve it even without the support of Germany
BRUSELAS, 18 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) -
The energy ministers of the European Union (EU) meet this Monday to agree on a cap on the price of gas purchases after the ultimatum that the leaders gave them this Thursday in order to have an intervention mechanism in 2023 that avoids spikes of excessive prices in the European market.
Spain is confident that the ministers will reach an agreement even if it means resorting to a qualified majority vote that leaves out Germany, the country that has shown the most reluctance to date regarding the approval of the mechanism, considering that it puts the guarantee of supplies.
Although the intention of the Twenty-seven was to reach a common path to maintain unity in order to stop the escalation in energy prices, the mandate of the leaders to their ministers to close the negotiations has introduced an urgency variable in the process.
The Government appreciates the limit to the negotiation set by the European Council and therefore advocates seeking a balance between those countries that consider market stability a priority, led by Germany and the Netherlands, and those who believe that it is convenient to lower the price to avoid give the wrong signal to suppliers, as is the case in Spain, Belgium or Greece, among others.
For this reason, the intention for the meeting on Monday is to finalize the agreement on the mechanism, even though that may mean that the limit on the prices of gas purchases is approved in a vote by qualified majority, a possibility that neither Spain nor Greece, according to diplomatic sources.
However, Belgium hopes that "it will not be necessary" to resort to a vote on Monday, trusting that the Germans "will finally show goodwill and cooperation" since, for the moment, the idea is to have everyone at board for a decision by consensus, the Council's "preferred".
A qualified majority vote could have taken place last week, but the Czech presidency was "kind and wise" enough not to use it, according to the same sources, who have also confirmed that the Netherlands wants an agreement, which leaves Germany as the main representative of the most reticent nucleus and of which until now the Dutch were also a part.
However, diplomatic sources assure that the debate on what is an "excessive" price is "inevitable", since the main obstacle on which the ministers will try to bring positions closer is the maximum at which the market correction mechanism will be activated, a figure that according to the latest proposal to which Europa Press has had access stands at 200 euros per megawatt hour (MWh), a proposal that Spain dismissed as "unaffordable".
Monday's meeting should also serve to adopt the regulations for joint purchases and the acceleration of renewable energy facilities, on which there is already sufficient agreement but which several countries, including Spain, are reluctant to adopt without the agreement of the rest. to the limit to the price of gas.