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Energy crisis: Europe “should act united” according to Madrid

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Spanish Minister Nadia Calvino, in an interview with euronews, expressed Spain’s solidarity with the EU countries most affected by the energy crisis, saying that at a time when Spain was hit hard by the pandemic, this European solidarity benefits. I remember receiving

As the energy crisis escalates, natural gas prices have quadrupled since last winter and inflation has hit a record high in the double digits. The EU is still struggling to find common ground. Is there a way out of the situation? Euronews went to Luxembourg, where she, the deputy prime minister of Spain, discussed the issue with Nadia Calvino.

Efi Koutsokosta, Euronews:

Minister, the war in Ukraine has had a dramatic impact on the European energy situation and has had knock-on effects on our economy. How bad is the situation?

Spain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nadia Calvinho said:

Well, obviously we are all affected by the war on Europe’s doorstep, the war on our individual doorsteps, and Putin’s energy blackmail. varies by country. Therefore, there are several economies that will be most directly affected, such as the German economy, the Baltic states, or countries bordering Ukraine. And fortunately, in the sense that they are less dependent on oil and gas from Russia, some other countries like Spain have been less affected by the consequences of the current situation.

Effie Coutucosta:

However, when it comes to Europe’s response to the crisis, there is a lot of criticism directed at the EU for failing to cope with the high prices of imported gas in Europe. So do you think the EU has so far failed to rise to the occasion?

Nadia Calvino:

I wish I had acted sooner. We are very supportive of the European Commission taking decisive action now and we are very supportive of a price cap on joint purchases. It also follows the example of the Iberian mechanism with a maximum gas price that is a price cap. I believe it has proven to be very effective in keeping prices in check and limiting or mitigating/mitigating the impact on citizens and businesses.

Effie Coutucosta:

But as you know, the EU is trying to find a pan-European solution, while the German government is willing to spend up to 200 billion euros to help consumers and businesses cope with rising energy prices. It says it’s ready. Do you think this really undermines a pan-European approach to the energy crisis?

Nadia Calvino:

I think we need to respond based on three principles, just as we did during the pandemic. It is unity, determination, solidarity. They were proven right when they faced the global challenge of the pandemic. And now, when faced with new transnational challenges, we must act together and I think we have to find a way to respond in the most effective way possible. This also demonstrates the need for appropriate flexibility in rules to accommodate different economic differences and challenges faced.

Effie Coutucosta:

So do you understand what Germany did? Do you feel a little frustrated because you acted alone in managing this crisis?

Nadia Calvinho:

I am very sympathetic to the fact that we are all faced with ways to keep prices in check and help citizens and businesses in our countries. Please give me some numbers. Spain is currently experiencing very strong growth. We now have to revise our growth forecast for this year upwards to 4.4% based on current data. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need to take important steps that have significant financial implications for our country to help our citizens and help businesses. How do we continue to support society and minimize the ramifications of Putin’s energy blackmail while maintaining fiscal responsibility?

Effie Coutucosta:

So does Germany act on the basis of this criterion you just mentioned? The basis of solidarity?

Nadia Calvino:

We have seen strong solidarity from Germany during the pandemic. This is very important for countries such as Spain that have been hit very directly by the pandemic.

Effie Coutucosta:

Is this a case of energy crisis?

Nadia Calvinho:

Well, I think there are clear parallels in the sense that when the Spanish economy took a direct hit from the pandemic, it was supported by the EU. And now we are expressing strong solidarity with those countries most directly affected by the risks and challenges arising from extortion, aggression against Ukraine.

Effie Coutucosta:

So is it time to set up the SURE mechanism, a tool similar to the one we had during the pandemic, to deal with this crisis as well?

Nadia Calvinho:

We need to see what instruments are already available within the European budget. Moreover, recovery plans, a very important source of funding, can have a very significant counter-cyclical impact, enabling investment and structural reforms to be implemented. We need to seize the opportunities presented by recovery plans to maximize the potential impact on growth at the national level, but most importantly at the European level.

Effie Coutucosta:

Of course, as you know, Minister, the figures recently released are very disappointing. What I mean is inflation has reached a record high of 10% for him. Energy prices rose 40.8% year-on-year, followed by food prices. So what should you do?

Nadia Calvinho:

We can see that this is basically inflation imported into the EU, due to higher energy prices and other raw materials and, of course, a weaker euro. Therefore, we should stop this inflation from being brought into her EU and the Eurozone as soon as possible and try to keep energy prices in check. That is why I strongly support the proposal from the committee. and urges immediate action, urgent action, updating the regulatory framework, capping gas prices, or in any case changing the reference to the TTF (Title Transfer Facility (TTF) is the price location (TTF will be the most liquid pricing location in Europe), proving to be prone to speculation and high price appreciation, to ensure that European prices stop rising as soon as possible. find an appropriate framework for

Effie Coutucosta:

Last question, Minister, are you afraid that all these challenges and uncertainties ahead could really add to social unrest across the EU?

Nadia Calvino:

Well, this is an issue that we must always keep in mind. Of course, European citizens have suffered very difficult times in the last three years since the pandemic hit us and have endured very difficult scenarios. was. Then came war, inflation and rising energy prices, affecting all European citizens, homes and businesses. That is why we need to be very prudent and responsible now to take the appropriate steps to support our citizens without losing sight of the need to ensure fiscal consolidation and financial stability across the Eurozone and the EU. . .

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