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Italy plans emergency talks as cold snap hits.

ROME (TAP) - Italyis set to hold emergency talks aimed at maximising gas supplies to vulnerable households asa cold snap tightened its grip on the country and the death toll rose to 26. The scheduled talks on Tuesdaycome a day after the economic development ministry activated a plan to reduce gas supplies to industrial clients and switch from gas to oil-fired power stations amid fears of another cold wave in Russia, which could limit supplies to Italy. "The situation is certainly critical because the flows from Russia and France have diminished but the situation is being monitored," Corrado Passera, economic development minister, said. A total of 389 people are now known to have died from the cold weather in Europe since the cold snap began 11 days ago. Forecasters say there will be no early let-up to some of the lowest temperatures seen in decades. Alberto Clo', an Italian energy policy expert and former minister, however said that there was no need to panic. "Italy will not run out of gas," he asserted. "After a mild winter and with industry running at low capacity, we haven'tdrawn very much yet from our reserves," he added.

Other areas across Europe are, however, struggling with the effectsof the weather conditions.

Tap 2012

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Publication:Agency Tunis Afrique Press
Date:Feb 10, 2012
Words:216
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