The environment and energy ministry’s draft law for the ratification of the IGB pipeline and the East Med Gas Forum (EMGF) was adopted by the parliament’s production and trade committee on Friday. MPs will vote on the draft law this week.
The bill is supported by the ruling party, New Democracy, while the main opposition leftist Syriza party, as well as the socialist Movement for Change and the nationalist Hellenic Solution, expressed some reservations in the committees, but are expected to vote in the bill’s favour.
However, Varoufakis’s DiEM25 and the Communist Party of Greece are opposing the bill.
The bill includes the “ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between Greece and Bulgaria on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection pipeline (IGB Project)”; and the “ratification of the Statute (Establishment) of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)”.
Environment and Energy Minister Konstantinos Skrekas spoke of a “positive milestone” for Greek international energy policy and geopolitical power, saying that Athens is willing to play a leading role as an energy hub in Europe’s broader Eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern region.
The IGB gas pipeline is connected to the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) and will transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea and through the floating terminal of Alexandroupolis. The pipeline will be connected in Stara Zagora with the Bulgarian national gas transmission system and with the Greek national gas transmission system in the broader area of Komotini. The project is supported by the EU as it increases interconnection between the national systems of member states.
East Med Gas Forum is a more geopolitical tool focused on the area’s energy and natural gas reserves. The governments of Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Palestine signed the East Med Gas Forum foundation charter, establishing a platform for enhanced cooperation. (Alexandros Fotiadis, Theodore Karaoulanis | EURACTIV.gr)