Portuguese MPs Question Govt. on Algeria’s Gas Blackmail

Several Portuguese MPs from different political persuasions questioned, on Monday, their government about the gas blackmail that Algeria is practicing towards Europe. In a question addressed to the Portuguese Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, these eleven deputies questioned the impact of Algeria’s unilateral decision to suspend gas supply via Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline to several European countries including Portugal. These members recalled that on October 31, Algeria unilaterally decided not to renew the Maghreb-Europe gas pipeline contract that goes through Morocco, at the risk of not honoring its delivery commitments to European partners, at a time marked by rising gas prices and the arrival of winter. They believe that this decision may affect various countries that depend on Algerian gas, such as Portugal, noting that “regardless of supply contracts and existing shortage capacity, there may be an impact on Portuguese economy.” These MPs point out that in spite of the this issue’s European policy dimension, each state must protect its national interests, adding that it is a matter of anticipating problems rather than reacting when it is too late and when the pressure on prices will be felt. In this context, Portuguese MPs asked their minister what energy policy measures will be put in place to safeguard national interest and avoid supply difficulties or price increases. They also asked what measures will be taken to decarbonize the country’s economy and reduce its dependence on fossil fuels.