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Greece will demand to be excluded from the EC plan to reduce gas consumption

Greece will demand to be excluded from the EC plan to reduce gas consumption

Greece at an extraordinary meeting of EU energy ministers on Tuesday will demand to be excluded from the European Commission’s plan to reduce natural gas consumption by 15%, Greek government spokesman Giannis Ikonomou said at a briefing on Monday.

On July 20, the European Commission proposed a new regulation on coordinated measures to reduce gas demand. It involves the introduction of initially voluntary targets for all EU Member States to reduce gas demand by 15% between August 1, 2022 and March 31, 2023. This corresponds to 45 billion cubic meters of gas. The proposals of the European Commission must be approved by a qualified majority of the EU countries in the Council of the EU before they come into force. The energy ministers will discuss the proposal on Wednesday in Brussels.

When asked what Greece will seek at the meeting of energy ministers and what is the position of Athens on reducing gas consumption, Ikonomou replied that the meeting is considered very important due to the concern that all EU countries have about energy.

“I must say that this European Commission proposal for a 15% reduction in gas consumption, as published by the EC, taking into account the average consumption over the past 15 years, cannot be accepted by our government. Since for Greece it means a reduction of more than 15%, it means a reduction of 24%,” Iconomou said.

“Greece will seek a change in this proposal tomorrow. It will seek to exclude our country from this reduction. What we will discuss is the comparison base for the last year, and not an average of 15 years. We consider the proposal of the European Commission in its current form unacceptable for our country. Greece will seek an exception from it. If any reduction is decided, it will be based on the data of the previous year,” Ikonoma repeated.