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.
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