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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

France, Germany to help each other with energy crisis

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Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron announced that France and Germany will help each other through the energy crisis and get by the upcoming winter.

Speaking at a press briefing after a videoconference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Macron on Monday said France is ready to deliver more gas to Germany while the latter will offer more electricity to France, if the current energy crisis persists in winter.

“We are going to finalize the gas connections in order to be able to deliver gas to Germany…It (Germany) will be ready to produce more electricity to bring to us in extreme situations,” Macron said.

The French president said that he was in favor of solidarity measures at the European level to deal with the current energy crisis.

“We are in favor of common gas purchasing practices that will make it possible to buy cheaper,” he explained.

However, he said there was “no need” for a gas pipeline linking France and Spain.

Concerning the high energy prices in Europe, Macron proposed to set up control mechanisms for speculative operations at the European level.

Days ahead of a European Union (EU) energy ministers’ meeting, Macron said that he supports a price cap on gas purchased from Russia at the EU level.

Macron assured his countrymen that France is not in a situation for energy rationing, but called on people to limit heating to 19 degrees Celsius to save energy.

“If we collectively know how to behave more soberly and save energy everywhere, then there will be no rationing or cuts,” he stressed.

On Friday, Macron chaired a Defense Council meeting on the energy crisis. French Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher said after the meeting that France’s gas reserves were 92 per cent full in preparation for possible shortages this winter.

According to the minister, 32 of the country’s fleet of 56 nuclear reactors are currently offline for routine maintenance, but French multinational electric utility company EDF has committed to restarting all of them for this winter.

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