Each passing week puts Europe a little closer to the brink of the energy crisis. The invasion of Ukraine on February 24 brought to light the fragility of the European Union (EU) in this area, and its dependence on Russian gas. Forced to pay high prices for its fossil fuels today, the European Community has had to react urgently to find new supply routes that will ensure that its populations spend the winter warm. And in the great energy game that is taking place on an international scale ces In recent weeks, Italy has been able to demonstrate efficiency. To the point that the second importer of Russian gas within the Union, behind Germany, today assures that it can do without by the end of 2023. Already, Rome announces that it has succeeded in halving its supplies from Russia when, a few months earlier, they still represented more than 40% of the 75 billion cubic meters of gas consumed annually by the country.
If Italy now seems to be on the way to winning a bet that is still far from being won on the side of Berlin and Madrid, or even Paris, it owes it in large part to Mario Draghi, its President of the Council since February 2021. Quickly aware of the sudden energy poverty of his country, the tenant of the Chigi Palace has multiplied since March the foot calls in the direction of the so-called “alternative” gas producing countries, particularly in Africa.
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Only four days after the start of the Ukrainian conflict, he dispatches his Minister of Foreign Affairs, Luigi Di Maio, to Algiers, to negotiate new agreements of supply with local authorities and the national operator, Sonatrach, the country’s second traditional partner behind the Russian Gazprom. Three weeks later, and this time accompanied by his colleague for the Ecological Transition, Roberto Cingolani, the head of Italian diplomacy flew to Cairo, which they left together on April 16, for a short trip of 48 hours, in Angola and the Republic of Congo, each time with the aim of securing additional gas supplies.
Forced to resign in July, after seeing his government coalition explode, Mario Draghi had, three days earlier, finalized with Abdelmadjid Tebboune, the head of theIT ISAlgerian state, the agreement on the supply of additional volumes of gas by Sonatrach: four billion additional cubic meters per year. From the end of this year, Algeria will therefore become Italy’s main supplier, with nearly 27 billion cubic meters and, thereby, one of the leading suppliers of the European Community market, along with Norway. .
Africa could supply two-thirds of gas consumption in 2024 of italy