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Reduction Of VAT On Natural Gas From 21 To 5 Per Cent Approved By Spanish Government

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Image of a gas flame burning. Credit: Marian Weyo/Shutterstock

The Council of Ministers definitively approved the reduction of VAT on natural gas from 21 to five per cent.

This Tuesday, September 20, the Council of Ministers definitively approved the reduction of VAT on gas. It will subsequently drop from 21 to 5 per cent. The decision comes two weeks after it was announced in the Senate by Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Government.

“In principle, until December 31, the same as the tax reductions in the field of energy”, explained Teresa Ribera, the Minister for Ecological Transition. She announced that there would be a saving of: “more than €10,000 million to consumers as a result of these tax cuts”. Ribera added: “We will be watching how things evolve, and in the new budget year, if necessary, it will be extended for next year”.

“It is about protecting the sectors most affected by the rise in energy prices resulting from the war, and cushioning the cost for companies and families”, stressed the Minister.

The Government considers that with the reduction of VAT on gas to the minimum allowed in the EU, consumers will save €190 million. Including the supply to boilers of neighbouring communities, the Ministry of Ecological Transition pointed out that this measure, however, does not include a tax reduction for liquefied petroleum gas.

Like natural gas, LPG is also used for cooking, heating water, and activating household appliances, as well as for transportation. “It is not possible for now”, said Ribera, who explained that the modification of the European directive that has allowed lowering VAT on energy products does not include this type of gas.

VAT will also be reduced to 5 per cent on pellets, firewood, and chips, with estimated savings for consumers of €19.4 million. The Government has lowered VAT to 5 per cent on electricity, the rate of Electricity Tax to 0.5 per cent, and has suspended the 7 per cent tax on generation. In total, a saving of €10,000 million has been calculated for consumers.

Ribera also announced the creation of a new mechanism called the ‘Rapid Demand Response Service’. This will allow industries to request a reduction in their electricity supply within a period of 15 minutes, for a maximum period of three hours.

This measure, she stated: “allows marketers and direct consumers to reduce their consumption in exchange for this economic redistribution”, as reported by 20minutos.es.

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United States And Russia Blaming Each Other For Nord Stream 'sabotage'

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Image of the damaged Nord Stream pipeline bubbling in the Baltic Sea. Credit: [email protected]

The United States and Russia are both blaming each other for the alleged ‘sabotage’ of the Nord Stream pipelines.

Speaking on Friday, September 30, US President Joe Biden claimed that the Nord Stream gas pipeline was clearly sabotaged. “It was a deliberate act of sabotage and now the Russians are dispersing disinformation and lies”, he added.

The President urged the world not to believe the statements of the Russian authorities about what happened on the pipeline. “We are working with our allies to establish exactly what happened”, said Biden, adding that Washington had already begun to help its allies with the increased security of critical infrastructure.

At the appropriate moment, when everything calms down, we will send divers to find out exactly what happened. We don’t know for sure yet”, he explained.

Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his speech on September 30, hinted at who he blamed for the situation.

“The Anglo-Saxons have few sanctions. They turned to sabotage, unbelievable but true, having organised explosions on the international gas pipelines of Nord Stream, they actually began to destroy the pan-European energy infrastructure. It is clear to everyone who benefits from this. Whoever benefits, of course, did it”, Putin stressed. 

Nikolai Patrushev, the Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation admitted that Russia does not yet have data on the involvement of Western intelligence services in explosions on gas pipelines.

We do not have such data on the involvement of Western intelligence agencies, but, we have information that they have done this before. After some time, we will also prove this. I won’t name it now, but, they did it”, he alluded.

Earlier, Patrushev expressed the opinion that the main beneficiary of the failure of gas pipelines, primarily from an economic point of view, is the United States, as reported by gazeta.ru.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken commented on the words of the Russian president and said that the West could not be involved in sabotage. “I really have nothing to say about President Putin’s absurd suspicions that we or other partners or allies are somehow responsible for this”, he said.

Blinken added: “We are in close contact with our partners in Europe, especially Denmark and Sweden. We support the investigation of these pipeline attacks and we are working to determine who is responsible, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself”.

I spoke with Danish Foreign Minister @JeppeKofod today about the Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 apparent sabotage. We remain committed to promoting European energy security.

— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) September 28, 2022

He also accused Moscow of spreading disinformation about the situation around Nord Stream and promised that the United States would make public information about the causes of the state of emergency as soon as it appeared.

NATO also supported efforts to investigate incidents that led to gas leaks in pipelines. According to the Secretary-General, Jens Stoltenberg, the alliance is working to strengthen the security of the critical infrastructure of the allies.

“We are expanding our intelligence sharing and looking at the intelligence we have collected over the past months and weeks to find anything related to attacks on pipelines”, he added. 

The sabotage of the Nordstream pipelines is of deep concern. #NATO is committed to deter and defend against hybrid attacks. Any deliberate attack against Allies’ critical infrastructure would be met with a united and determined response. https://t.co/XSiqWK20xF

— Jens Stoltenberg (@jensstoltenberg) September 29, 2022

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Aleksandr Lukashenko Insists Belarusians Have Never Attacked Anyone And Never Will

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Image of Alexander Lukashenko. Credit: exsilentroot/Shutterstock.com

Belarusians are a peaceful nation who have never attacked anyone and never will, insisted President Aleksandr Lukashenko.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, the President of Belarus, Belarusians have never attacked anyone and never will. He made the statement on Friday, September 30, as he accepted the credentials of ambassadors of foreign countries in Minsk.

The head of state noted that the diplomatic work of these ambassadors begins at a landmark period for his nation. Belarus has recently marked its youngest public holiday – the Day of People’s Unity.

“The Belarusians have never attacked anyone in their history. We have not been a source of threat to anyone. It will continue to be so. I emphasise that this is how it will be! We remain committed to the peaceful solution of any international problems”, Lukashenko stressed.

“Having lost every third resident during the Nazi genocide, Belarusians, like no other nation in the world, value human life highly. Every human life!”, the head of state added, as reported by BelTA.

After the results of the referendums carried out in four Ukrainian territories meant that they would become a part of the Russian Federation, rumours began circulating that Belarus, as a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin, would subsequently join the conflict.

There had been talk reported a few days ago of Belarus also mobilising up to 100,000 of its male population, and that train stations and airports were going to be prepared for such drafts to be carried out.

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Acosol To Cut Water Supplies In Torremolinos And Benalmadena Next Week

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Image of a hand turning a tap. Credit: T.Dallas/Shutterstock.com

The water company Acosol announced that the water supplies in parts of Torremolinos and Benalmadena will be affected by cuts from next Monday, October 3.

Acosol, the water company that supplies municipalities of the Western Costa del Sol, made an announcement to the public on its official Twitter profile this Friday, September 30. Next Monday, October 3, except for last-minute unforeseen events, it will carry out repair works in the towns of Torremolinos and Benalmadena.

Acosol informa de que el próximo lunes 3 de octubre, salvo imprevistos de última hora, se va a proceder a realizar maniobra por obra de reparación de avería de la tubería de abastecimiento en alta a su paso por calle Lora del Río, en Torremolinos, pero que afectará al suministro

— ACOSOL 💦 (@AcosolSA) September 30, 2022

This is the result of the failure of a high supply pipe that runs along Calle Lora del Rio in Torremolinos. The cut will also affect the high water supply in the nucleus of Arroyo de la Miel in Benalmadena.

Due to the scope of this action, the repair manoeuvre will entail the total interruption of the high water supply in the El Pinillo intakes in Torremolinos and in Cortijo de Mena and Garcia Lorca (Hiper) in the municipality of Benalmadena.

pero que afectará al suministro de agua en alta en Torremolinos y en Arroyo de la Miel, en Benalmádena.

Debido a la envergadura de esta actuación, la maniobra para la reparación conlleva la interrupción total del suministro de agua en alta en las tomas de El Pinillo,

— ACOSOL 💦 (@AcosolSA) September 30, 2022

y García Lorca (Hiper) del municipio de Benalmádena, de forma que las zonas afectadas quedarán en dependencia exclusiva de sus recursos e infraestructuras mientras duren los trabajos, que se estima se puedan prolongar durante 3 ó 4 días, salvo imprevistos.

— ACOSOL 💦 (@AcosolSA) September 30, 2022

“The affected areas will remain exclusively dependent on their resources and infrastructures while the work continues, which is estimated to last three or four days, barring unforeseen events”, informed the statement.

They also indicated that it is very important to: “Avoid watering public and private gardens, washing down streets, and other uses other than human supply to preserve water”. Acosol subsequently appreciated the public’s understanding in advance and apologised for the inconvenience caused.

Es muy importante que se evite el riego de jardines, públicos y privados, baldeos de calles y demás usos distintos del abastecimiento humano para preservar el agua.

Desde Acosol agradecer su comprensión y pedimos disculpas de antemano por las molestias ocasionadas. pic.twitter.com/ihRsEkr8ib

— ACOSOL 💦 (@AcosolSA) September 30, 2022

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