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The ambitious MidCat gas pipeline project fought for by the Spanish PM, Pedro Sánchez, and his Portuguese counterpart, António Costa, which also had the support of the German chancellor, Olaf Scholz, and which would have meant that the gas that ends its journey in the Catalan locality of Hostalric would cross the Pyrenees and be able to supply Germany, was definitively scrapped this Thursday in Brussels. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, never relented, something that was to be expected, and maintained his initial opposition despite all the pressures he received, which have been more than a few. Well, it could be said that Macron did his thinking in national and not European terms by having prioritized French strategic issues and also environmental issues, since he was facing a major revolt by ecological sectors just at a time when social conflicts in the country are piling up for the Élysée incumbent. That is what is being seen these days in numerous cities, starting with Paris, with mass protests, some violent, against price increases and in favour of raising wages.

It was a project that, considering its important scale, which would have crossed three states, and the strategic commitment involved in a market as volatile as the energy market at the moment, would have had its indirect benefits - for Catalonia too, of course. But one had to understand that it was a medium-term task, with France speaking of five or six years, Spain reducing this by half; and it also faced difficulties in its entry into operation that went far beyond the current energy crisis scenario. As usually happens in these types of attacks that are difficult to understand for the general public, Sánchez and Costa put on a brave face, they pulled a rabbit out of their hat in order to muddle on through - in this aspect, European politics is, without a doubt, a specialist, since all agreements involve deadlines many years down the track and confusing and endless negotiation - and they came out to explain to us the importance of a tiny project next to what was previously planned and of its even more uncertain future time-wise due to the long duration of its construction.

This is also perfectly understandable when it comes to a green energy corridor of nearly 350 kilometres in length between Barcelona and Marseille, which will be called BarMar, will be submarine and has been presented as a commitment to the use of a more ecological energy source that will unite the Iberian Peninsula with France. This green hydrogen pipeline may also be used exceptionally for gas, although this is not the initial goal. You don't have to be a great expert on the subject to understand the strategic and economic importance of the project that has now been scrapped, and any comparison made with the green energy corridor has only been a way of explaining that Macron, instead of winning 10 to 0, would now win 9 to 1, even if some might try to present it as a draw or a compromise solution. It should be added that with the MidCat, surplus gas was to be sent to Germany and with the new pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille the sale of green energy is the only hypothesis.

However, this new green energy and the pipeline between Barcelona and Marseille is better than nothing, although we should hope that politicians will get used to not selling us the bird before hunting it as was done with the MidCat, a matter over which they have been consistently frivolous over France's opposition. Among other things because all the marketing and smokescreen effects that surround these negotiations end up having a limited duration, never forever. And, then, you start to see the rough stitching of an international policy that is mediocre and that has almost always failed. In which projects are sold as winners when they always lose or the territory of Western Sahara is handed over to Morocco, disdaining the Sahrawi people and breaking a historical commitment with them in the name of some profit that is not yet clear. And it seems that Sánchez is ready to take that secret to the grave, since no one has yet managed to find out what Mohammed VI has given in return.