General

Spain’s energy minister calls EU’s proposed gas price cap ‘mockery’

Spain's energy minister slammed the EU's proposed price cap on natural gas on Wednesday, calling it "a mockery" and vowing to fight it.

On Tuesday, Brussels unveiled its first-ever proposal for a price cap on natural gas, something Spain and Portugal already enacted last spring.

The EU's proposed price cap would take effect only if the European benchmark natural gas price exceeds €275 ($283) per megawatt-hour for two straight weeks, among other conditions.

Even during the dramatic spike in prices this year in Europe, natural gas was not that expensive for two straight weeks, according to commodities expert Javier Blas.

Therefore, the proposed price cap would not have activated.

The Iberian mechanism, on the other hand, established a price cap starting at €40.

With Spain's natural gas price cap set to expire at the end of 2023, Madrid has been pushing to establish energy price caps at the EU level.

Speaking to reporters in the halls of the Spanish Parliament, Energy Minister Teresa Ribera said Spain would stop supporting other "important" EU proposals if Brussels does not devise an alternative plan to limit energy prices.

She called the current plan "counterproductive," insisting it could put other policies to contain prices at risk.

At the same time, she said other EU member states have already told her that they were "worried" and "outraged" by the proposal.

"I have the impression that the Commission is going to hear some harsh things from the vast majority of ministers," Ribera said, referring to the EU energy ministers' meeting on Thursday.

"This seems like a mockery. We asked the Commission for a proposal, and this isn't serious," she said.

Source: Anadolu Agency