Italy, Poland and Hungary expressed concerns over the European Union's proposal to reduce natural gas consumption, Bloomberg wrote with reference to the sources.
According to them, representatives from Italy, Poland and Hungary had serious doubts about the idea presented by the European Commission on Wednesday to reduce gas use by 15 percent over the next eight months.
The EU plan would affect all households, power producers and industry and reflects growing concerns that Russia could cut gas exports to the region. This would jeopardize the EU's efforts to restock ahead of winter, potentially jeopardizing supply security in key sectors and hurting the region's economy next year.
The EC pointed out that between January and April, the EU reduced gas consumption by 5 percent overall, and in member states where there was a reduction, there was no noticeable impact on gross domestic product.
Portugal is totally against the EU proposal, Energy Secretary of State Joao Galamba told the Expresso newspaper. According to Galamba, the country has had to increase its consumption of natural gas for electricity generation this year because of low hydropower production in a drought, and the EU plan is "not viable" because it would leave Portugal without electricity.
Spain cannot support the Commission's proposal, which ignores the key economic and social consequences of pan-European rationing, said Deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera. She added that reducing gas consumption would force the country to cut electricity production and stop exporting gas to the rest of the continent.
Portugal and Spain have traditionally relied less on Russian gas supplies than other European countries, and the Iberian peninsula has only limited pipeline connections to the rest of Europe, but has large regasification capacities to receive liquefied natural gas shipments.