Macron says to discuss Pyrenees gas pipeline with Spain next week

PARIS/MADRID, Oct 7 (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron said in Prague he would meet his Spanish and Portuguese counterparts next week to discuss the MidCat trans-Pyrenees gas pipeline project and reach a “pragmatic” solution.

“I will see (Spanish) Prime Minister (Pedro) Sanchez and (Portuguese) Prime Minister (Antonio) Costa in Paris in a few days and the three of us will find very pragmatic agreements,” Macron told a European summit. on energy in Paris. the Czech capital.

Sanchez said at the same summit that France’s willingness to strike a pipeline deal showed it was meeting its domestic demands.

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“I believe that one way or another, sooner or later, we will reach an agreement that will manage to bring together all the sensitivities and concerns of France,” Sanchez added.

Macron had previously argued against the project, which is strongly backed by Germany as a backup for halted Russian gas supplies.

On Wednesday, Spaniard Sanchez and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met in the Spanish city of La Coruña and issued a joint statement saying that a “large enough and hydrogen-ready gas pipeline through the Pyrenees to be operational in ‘by 2025 is of paramount importance to achieve a truly robust internal energy market within the EU, accelerate the green transition and strengthen the EU’s strategic autonomy.”

Speaking on Friday, Macron signaled that he still disagreed and that the pipeline is not in line with France’s goal of reducing dependence on fossil fuels. Instead, he wants to help Spain increase its electricity interconnections with France, he said.

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Reporting by Michel Rose and Tassilo Hummel in Paris and David Latona in Madrid, editing by GV De Clercq and Louise Heavens

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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