PEDRO Sanchez has appealed to the European Union to come up with a ‘sufficiently balanced response’ to wholesale electricity prices and energy supplies in the wake of the Ukraine conflict.
The Spanish Prime Minister made his call after talks on Monday with French President, Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
Sanchez’s comments came after news that his government is unlikely to propose an EU-wide cap of 180 euros per megawatt hour on the wholesale electricity price.
Spain and Portugal agreed last week to back the limit to tackle the surge in energy prices exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Any amendments would require all 27 EU states to agree but northern member countries are reluctant to make changes, with leaders gathering for two days in Brussels on Thursday.
A Spanish Energy Ministry source told the El Pais newspaper that the proposal was ‘not the main option on the table’ and that the main aim was to ‘decouple the price of gas from electricity’.
In a joint appearance with President Macron following talks at the Elysee Palace, Pedro Sanchez said that the EU leaders meeting has to address two ‘fundamental aspects’ of the consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, namely guaranteeing energy supplies and dealing with electricity prices.
Macron agreed that common solutions were needed and praised the efforts of Sanchez over the issue.
He argued that diversifying energy sources and creating a common gas storage mechanism among Europeans was important.
Pedro Sanchez is having to deal with an unofficial truck drivers strike in Spain prompted by increased fuel costs.
He has promised new measures including energy tax cuts to be unveiled after the EU summit on March 29.
Reduced tax rates on domestic electricity bills are in force until the end of June.
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