Sanchez, Draghi, Costa and Mitsotakis work together on proposals to reduce electricity prices with immediate effect

President's News - 2022.3.18

Rome (Italy)

This trip is part of his tour on energy, a debate that the Spanish president has been leading since September 2021.

On the problem of rising electricity prices, the president of the Government of Spain stressed: "Today, the governments of Spain, Greece, Italy and Portugal are telling our European colleagues that we are working together, in light of the discussion at the next European Council in Brussels next week, on specific, feasible and implementable proposals that will have immediate effects in reducing electricity prices.

Since September 2021, in the European Union, the Government of Spain has been defending the need to intervene in the market to act on the origin of the problem of the high prices of the current energy market, which requires separating the price of gas from that of electricity; as well as making joint purchases, diversifying supply and committing to renewable energies.

Regarding the meeting, the head of the Executive pointed out that the four leaders are looking for proposals that "protect our families and companies" and stressed that it is necessary to "act now and give European answers to European problems".

President Sánchez stressed that the war in Ukraine has shown that the escalation of prices was not a temporary issue, and that "it is essential to act at a European level on prices in order to be less vulnerable". For this reason, Sánchez defended the need to do so "as a matter of urgency", tackling some of the "structural causes" to guarantee the strength of the Union and the balance of the single market.

"The four countries gathered here today offer the rest of the EU all our efforts to achieve diversification of energy sources as soon as possible. We are aware of the role that southern Europe plays in this challenge and we are going to make every effort necessary", stressed the head of the Executive during his speech alongside Draghi, Costa and Mitsotakis.

In this respect, Spain has 27% of the regasification capacity and 30% of the storage capacity for liquefied natural gas in the European Union. For this reason, the Government of Spain has expressed its willingness to exploit these capacities to the full by tackling the pending interconnections between the Iberian Peninsula and other European partners.

Refugee care and the security of the European Union

Foto: Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaOn Putin's "terrible, unjust and unjustifiable" invasion of Ukraine, which challenges Europe and what it stands for: freedom, democracy, the rule of law and social justice, Sánchez stressed that the EU27 have reacted forcefully, supporting Ukraine, taking in thousands of refugees and sanctioning Russia, "despite the cost this may have, to do everything in our power to stop this war".

Our country, committed to refugees, immediately launched a major plan to welcome Ukrainians fleeing the war, now numbering more than 3 million. Sánchez said that "Spain will take in as many refugees as necessary". In fact, our country has already set up three refugee centres, in Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante, and is sending a new humanitarian aid package of 23 million euros, the largest ever sent to a country.

Another of the issues on which the four European leaders agree, and which will form part of the debate at the next Council, is the need to strengthen the common security and defence policy and to promote the EU's strategic compass, a "truly operational document, which will provide us with the basis for dealing with current and future crises". The president of the Government of Spain stressed that "Russia's aggression against Ukraine has profoundly altered the European and world geostrategic scenario, and we therefore believe that the Strategic Compass should reflect this new situation".

Non official translation