New York (ANA-MPA/ P. Panagiotou) – Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yiannis Maniatis on Wednesday presented Greece’s comprehensive and coherent strategy in the energy sector during his speech at the Columbia University of New York on “The Eastern Mediterranean and European Energy Landscape: Trends and Opportunities.”
Maniatis extensively referred to the government’s initiatives and plans in the energy sector accompanied by visual material (maps and diagrams). At the beginning of his speech, he made a reference to the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as Greece’s efforts to establish peace, security and stability and to promote regional cooperation.
Maniatis also referred to the “provocative and illegal”, under international law, Turkey’s actions against the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and read an extract from the recent “clear positions” of the European Council, calling Ankara to respect the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). He also noted the agreement of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, as well as the cooperation of Greece, Cyprus and Egypt in view of the tripartite summit to be held in Cairo, stressing the “leading role” of Greece in Europe’s energy security, which is a “matter of priority of the international energy diplomacy.”
“Greece is a reliable partner of increasingly importance and impact in a turbulent region, where peace, stability and welfare are in danger,” the Greek minister said adding that Greece is developing its endogenous sources, which render it a new potential oil and natural gas supplier in the European market, as well as that “Greece is becoming a strong energy transit hub (natural gas terminals, gas pipelines and electricity), offering new alternatives for energy supply in Europe.”
Maniatis put special emphasis on Greece’s “new energy role” as a natural gas “gateway” in South Eastern Europe, particularly after the creation of the Greek-Bulgarian corridor and the expansion of respective connections to Romania and Hungary. He also stressed the importance of the East Med pipeline to transport natural gas from the southeastern Mediterranean deposits to European consumers.
He also noted the importance of the development of natural gas transit projects from new gas production areas in order to further promote the strategic objective of enhancing energy security in Europe and in particular the Eastern Balkans.
He spoke of the “full exploitation of national energy resources” and gave a detailed picture of the hydrocarbons exploration projects in the sea area of the Ionian Sea and south of Crete as well as the onshore areas of Western Greece, stressing the “potential to attract international investments in the energy sector.”
Maniatis also made a reference to the “positive developments” in the Greek economy, noting that Greece is “exiting the crisis” and “returns to growth” adding that the” largest fiscal adjustment has been achieved in the shortest possible period.”
On Thursday Maniatis wraped up his visit in the US (Washington and New York) with a meeting with Archbishop of America Demetrios, at the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, as well as with meetings with Greek-American organisations officials, entrepreneurs and journalists.
ON HIS MEETINGS
Yiannis Maniatis has spoken to ANA-MPA on his meetings in Washington with top-level officials at the White House, the National Security Council, the State Department and the Department of Labour.
During his meetings, the minister told the news agency, he stressed Greece’s potential role as a hub of growth and regional collaboration, contributing to security in the area, and “presented the large round of concessions of sea areas in the Ionian Sea and south of Crete that offer huge potential in locating hydrocarbon reserves.”
“Greece, in reality, is the new axis supporting the energy security of the 28 EU member-states, a role we promote and, I am happy to say, one that is perfectly understood here in the United States,” he said.