EU warns Algeria it is ready "to face any type of coercive measure"
Albares warns North African country has violated its association agreement with the EU
MadridThe European Union (EU) is stepping up pressure on Algeria. This Friday the European community issued a statement warning the North African country that it is ready "to confront any type of coercive measure" it takes against an EU member state. In a statement signed by the EU's high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, and the European Commission's economic vice-president, Valdis Dombrovskis, they admitted that they are "extremely concerned" about Algeria's move and believe freezing trade operations with Spain "in principle" could violate Algeria's association agreement with the EU.
European diplomats are not acting alone, but in coordination with Spain. In fact, this very Friday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Albares, travelled to Brussels to meet with Dombrovskis and took for granted that Algeria had violated its treaty of relations with the EU. For the moment, however, he has avoided saying whether the next step will be to start legal proceedings against Algeria. Both European diplomats and Albares himself have insisted on dialogue to redirect the crisis and the minister has expressed hope that reconciliation will come "the sooner the better"
"We have agreed that we want dialogue and that we will not give any excuse for any escalation. It is clear that European institutions have tools and instruments to deal with any situation," said the Foreign Minister, who did not want to go off script and discuss future scenarios, nor a hypothetical rise in the price of gas from Algeria as a consequence of this conflict. The Spanish government has been in contact with companies in the sector which claim that, for the time being, the flow of gas imports continues as normal.