Algeria’s energy blackmail vis-à-vis Europe continues to worry Europeans, especially MEPs from the European People’s Party (EPP) group in the European Parliament, who are concerned about Europe’s energy security in a context of rising prices.
The closure of the Maghreb Europe gas pipeline (GME) which linked Algerian gas to Spain and Portugal is worrying in Europe because of this impromptu decision taken by Algeria.
In a question to the European Commission, Vice-President of the EPP Group, the largest and oldest group in the European Parliament, Andrey Kovatchev, asked what steps the Commission will take to avert a potential energy crisis in Europe linked to an increase in energy prices, favored by Algeria’s decision to terminate the GME contract.
The MEP also asked to know what assessment the Commission makes of the risks linked to the non-renewal of a GME contract, especially since this decision by Algeria was taken at a critical time when energy prices in Europe have has experienced a considerable jump and with the approach of winter, this situation is likely to be even more tense.
The Europeans denounced the decision of Algeria, a measure they describe as blackmail to Europe, dependent on its gas imports and in a context of global energy crisis. Algeria is accused of taking advantage of the situation and its lack of “seriousness” has been strongly criticized in the country.
Algeria, which nourishes hostility towards Morocco, has threatened for months with the non-renewal of this contract which crosses Morocco before joining Spain. The announcement of the news was made at the last moment, but in Europe, hopes of making Algeria reason were still present until the last moment.
Described as a country lacking in “seriousness” and “credibility” in the face of this political blackmail carried out both against Morocco and towards Spain, the main beneficiary of Algerian gas, Algeria tried to reassure Madrid by dangling another gas pipeline yet already used to the maximum of its capacities.
The case is mainly linked to the conflict over the Sahara, Algeria intends to blackmail Spain for energy so that the country supports it against Morocco. Algiers has already been at the center of a serious diplomatic crisis between Rabat and Madrid in early 2020, having orchestrated the illegal and secret reception of the leader of the Sahrawi separatist militias of the Polisario.