- How Madrid wants to supply Europe with gas
- Gas levy: heavy burden for industry
- Norway unable to further expand gas supplies to Germany
- France: new draft law for expansion of renewables
- After Taiwan visit: sanctions against EU minister
- Christian Schubert – the diplomat for Ludwigshafen
In northern Europe, women have long dominated politics: Yesterday, four female heads of government surrounded Chancellor Olaf Scholz when he appeared before the press alongside host Jonas Gahr Støre during his visit to the Nordic Council in Oslo. The group was largely in agreement on energy policy, but not so on the issue of Schengen visas for Russian citizens. Finland’s Sanna Marin and Denmark’s Mette Frederiksen again made it clear that they would like to restrict grants because of Russia’s war of aggression – after all, many Russians support their president’s actions, Marin argued. Scholz countered that this was Putin’s war, not the war of the Russian people. In the end, however, the EU wants to agree on a position – there is consensus on that, at least.
The EU could cover a third of its LNG requirements via imports from Spain – but the pipelines to improve connections to Spain are still missing. The “MidCat” pipeline project, a pipeline to the French border, had been put on hold in 2019 due to doubts about its economic viability. Other pipelines, such as the one across the Mediterranean to Italy and one to Portugal, have also yet to be realized. Time is of the essence, but luckily the Spanish government wants to move fast, as Isabel Cuesta Camacho reports.
In addition to the enormous increase in gas prices, the industry will have to pay a gas levy of 2.419 cents per kilowatt hour from October. If Chancellor Olaf Scholz has his way, no value-added tax will have to be paid on this amount – if the EU Commission agrees. More on this in the News.
The current gas crisis is the most serious to date – not just for Christian Schubert personally but also for the BASF Group, for which he has held various positions since 2001. In today’s profile, we introduce him as the head of Corporate Government Relations and the Berlin office at BASF, where he is in direct contact with politicians and does a lot of explaining in times of crisis.
How Madrid wants to supply Europe with gas
From the Spanish government’s point of view, things could move quickly: In just eight or nine months, the new pipeline through the Catalan Pyrenees to the border with France could be ready for operation, said the Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera, in a TV interview on Friday. However, she said, the prerequisite is that the other countries involved and the EU Commission agree on the project.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz had previously declared that he would hold talks on the pipeline with EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and his counterparts in Spain, Portugal, and France. The “Midi-Catalonia Pipeline” (MidCat) project had been suspended in 2019 due to doubts about its economic viability. The Spanish government has been pressing for several months to revive the project in order to be able to export gas from the peninsula as an alternative to Russian supplies.
Pipeline also suitable for hydrogen
Ribera stressed that Chancellor Scholz’s comments succeeded in highlighting something Spain has been advocating for some time: that energy interconnections are not just a bilateral issue, but are important for all countries in the Union. “So far, we have only discussed energy interconnections across the Pyrenees in bilateral talks with France,” the minister said.