ROME, Sep 3 – PRIME. Italy may spend 60 billion euros more on energy imports in 2022 than last year, which corresponds to 3% of GDP, said the country’s Economy and Finance Minister Daniele Franco.
“In terms of energy imports, we are moving from 43 billion in 2021 to 100 billion, which this figure can reach in 2022, an increase of 60 billion means three percent of GDP, an outflow of Italian resources abroad, which nullifies the surplus that we have accumulated over the past years,” he said, speaking at an economic forum in Cernobbio, Italy. According to him, in 2021, Italy imported three-quarters of the amount of energy it needs.
Franco stressed that the government continues to work to get rid of dependence on Russian gas supplies by 2024. “In fact, we are in a hurry to achieve this even earlier, if possible,” the askanews agency quoted the minister as saying.
After the start of the Russian special operation in Ukraine, the Italian government set the task of breaking free from dependence on natural gas imported from the Russian Federation as soon as possible. At the initiative of Prime Minister Mario Draghi, concrete steps were taken and new agreements were signed to diversify energy sources and, in particular, increase gas supplies from Algeria, Angola, Azerbaijan, the Republic of the Congo and a number of other countries. In early August, Minister for Ecological Transition Roberto Chingolani announced that the share of Russian gas supplies had been reduced from 40% to 15%. Earlier, he said that, taking into account savings in consumption and obtaining new energy resources, Italy would be completely independent of gas supplies from the Russian Federation in the second half of 2024.