Spain-France gas pipeline: BarMar replaces MidCat
EU leaders have reached an agreement in the dispute over plans to construct a pipeline to transport energy from Spain and Portugal via France to Germany. Instead of the MidCat land pipeline which would have run across the Pyrenees and which Macron opposed, an underwater pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille called BarMar is to be built. It is to be used for the transportation of gas initially, but also for green hydrogen later on.
Southern European countries must support each other
El País is jubilant:
“The compromise combines typical European virtues: no one loses and Europe moves forward. ... Sánchez and Costa have achieved the goal of overcoming the energetic isolation of the Iberian Peninsula. ... Macron has accepted the Iberian arguments and now stands behind green hydrogen, despite France being a country that historically supports the nuclear industry. ... It would have been incomprehensible for the countries of the South to continue to act in an uncoordinated manner at such a crucial moment for the Union. The victory of Giorgia Meloni's far-right party means that Italy has dropped out of this group. Spain, Portugal and France, on the other hand, have similar ideas about the EU.”
Everyone has saved face
El Mundo calls for rapid implementation:
“One of the most important elements of this project is that all parties to it can sell it as a success. Especially Macron. ... Paris opposed MidCat citing the high costs and lengthy construction process, but in reality it was afraid of losing its privileged commercial position in the supply of energy. Its decision to yield is good news for the EU's common goals. ... And also for Spain, which has cutting-edge regasification capacities: 30 percent of the plants of this type in Europe are located here. ... Now the deadlines must be met to make the most of this unique opportunity for the Spanish economy and alleviate the lacking independence of our partners.”