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Greece – Italy Pipeline

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis held a meeting with his Italian counterpart Claudio Scajola yesterday (July 20) in Milan on the sidelines of the Economic and Financial Forum for the MediterraneanThe two ministers had talks on the Greek-Italian Interconnector “IGI POSEIDON,” – an underwater natural gas transmission pipeline connecting the shores of Epirus with the Apulia shore in Italy- with the view to examine whether the pipeline can also transport natural gas from Italy to Greece, along with its current direction from Greece to Italy. The Interconnector Greece – Italy is a component of the extensive Turkey – Greece – Italy pipeline system through which natural gas from the Caspian Region and Central Asia is transmitted to Italy and the rest of Western Europe. Greece’s participation in the ITGI Project establishes the country as a significant energy hub for the transit of natural gas to Europe.  Greek News Agenda: Greece-An Energy Hub; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Italy

Greece: Energy Matters

» Greece-Bulgaria-Romania agree on gas pipeline project

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  An agreement has been signed by the Greek gas company DEPA and Italian Edison with Bulgarian Energy Holding for the construction of a pipeline that would allow Bulgaria to import 1 billion cubic meters of natural gas from the Caspian Sea region, through the ITGI (Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy) pipeline. The 160-km long pipeline, called Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), will extend from Komotini, northern Greece to Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. Its construction is estimated to cost €120 million with €45 million provided by the EU.  Greece and Romania agreed yesterday during a meeting in Bucharest, between Romanian Economy Minister Adriean Videanu and Greek Development Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, to promote and coordinate gas connections between Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece.  “We want to treat the Greek-Bulgarian, Bulgarian-Romanian and Romanian-Hungarian pipelines as a single whole, as a single pipeline. Especially since all three separate pipelines are financed by the European Union,” Hatzidakis said adding that this project would enhance cooperation between the four countries and strengthen their geostrategic position.  Meanwhile, DESFA, Greece’s Natural Gas National System Manager, and Bulgarian Energy Holding (BEH) signed yesterday a memorandum of understanding aimed at allowing the transportation of natural gas from Greece to Bulgaria from the Revithousa LNG terminal. Kathimerini daily: Greece – Bulgaria pipeline to raise security, lower gas prices

South Stream Pipeline Underway

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The agreement for the construction of the South Stream natural gas pipeline will be signed today (May 15) between Gazprom and all other participants in the project, in the Russian resort city of Sochi on the shores of the Black Sea, Greek Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis announced.    Hellenic Gas Transmission System Operator (DESFA), a subsidiary of the Greek Public Gas Corporation (DEPA), will be signing on behalf of Greece. The minister, who will also attend the signing ceremony, noted the particular importance placed on the South Stream agreement and Greece’s broader cooperation with Russia.   Greek News Agenda: Greece-Russia forge ties; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Energy Affairs

Olympic Airlines Seals the Deal

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)

The government has announced the successful conclusion of negotiations with Marfin Investment Group (MIG) for the sale of the national carrier Olympic Airlines (OA). Under the deal, clinched late on Friday, the state is set to receive the sum of €177.2 million for all OA assets, flight operations and technical maintenance. For the ground-handling division, since talks between MIG and Swissport are still in progress, negotiations have been extended for a week, Development Minister Kostas Hatzidakis announced.

In order for the agreement between the Greek state and the Marfin Investment Group (MIG) to be finalised, it must be approved by the European Commission, following which, the inter-ministerial privatisations committee must evaluate it.

Greek – Azeri Energy Plans

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, arrived in Greece yesterday – the first Azeri president to officially visit the country – with a delegation of officials from the Azeri state gas company. Aliyev expressed confidence that this trip would inaugurate a new era in bilateral relations, and emphasised the issue of energy security, noting that Azerbaijan had done much to give the rest of the world access to its considerable energy resources. President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias received his counterpart on Monday and held talks on ways to further develop bilateral relations between the two nations. Aliyev also met with Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis and talks focused on the supply to Greece of 1 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year from Azerbaijan, as well as the signing of a four-party state agreement on the Interconnector Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline. Greek and Azeri officials also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation on renewable energy sources. Greek News Agenda: Greece Turkey Interconnector; Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece ; Centre for Renewable Energy Sources;

2009: Year of Renewable Energy Sources

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   “We want 2009 to be the year of renewable energy sources (RES),” Development Minister Costis Hatzidakis said yesterday after a Cabinet meeting. The recent legislative changes will speed up the increased use of RES by cutting red tape and introducing incentives, the development ministry said yesterday. Applications for some 42 gigawatts (GW) in RES development have been filed by investors and are awaiting approval by state bodies. In the near future, the ministry estimates that projects involving some 5 to 7 GW of wind parks and 2 GW of photovoltaic energy will be carried out.  An example of this is the launching of a solar energy (photovoltaic) park to be constructed by the company Intrakat on its own land near the facilities of is electromechanical constructions plant in the area of Giannouli, in the Larissa prefecture. For the construction of the park -in a total area of 4,000 square metres – several state-of-the-art solar power generators will be implemented. The joint use of a solar generators bank along with cutting edge Fuel Cells H2 technology will be used for the first time, at a cost effective formula. The construction works will commence in February of 2009 and the first primary measurements and results are expected to come out in late spring of this year. Kathimerini daily: Law change seen powering RES; Intrakat: Press Release (26.01.2009); Athens News Agency: PM chairs Cabinet meeting on energy  Ministry of Development: 4th National Report regarding the penetration level of renewable energy sources up to the year 2010; Hellenic Association of Photovoltaic Companies: The Greek PV Market: New PV law passed in January 2009; Secretariat General of Information – World Media on Greece – Science and the Environment: Renewable Energy Sources in Greece   Additional Information: Centre for Renewable Energy Sources; & Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece – Energy Policy of Greece 

Green Buses in Athens

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Athens is set to acquire one of the most modern public transport bus fleets in Europe, according to an announcement made earlier this week by Transport Minister Kostas Hatzidakis.  Unveiling details of a major upgrade in the fleet of buses operated by the Athens Urban Transport Organisation (OASA), he said the new buses are set to meet stricter environmental specifications and generate much lower levels of atmospheric emissions. The total fleet of buses will be 614, and their delivery is expected to be completed by the first half of 2009. Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece- Greek Environmental Strategic Policies

Hellenic Railways

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   By 2014, the national railway network will have undergone major infrastructural changes, Hatzidakis announced at a joint press conference with the European Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner, on September 9 in Athens. Electrical railway tracks as well as environmentalally-friendly urban transport and the tram line’s extension will be some of the suggested projects to be implemented through the National Strategic Reference Framework (2007-2013), worth €20 billion.

Olympic Carrier Relaunched

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Marking a new era for Greece’s national air carrier, Transport Minister Kostas Hatzidakis announced that the European Union has given its approval for the relaunching of Olympic Airlines. “The state-owned company will be privatised” said the minister, explaining that the company at its present status will be liquidated and some of the company’s assets will be transferred to a new private company, which will keep the name and the logo of its predecessor.  Greek News Agenda: Flying the Wings of Change; Ministry of Transport & Communications: www.yme.gr  Secretariat General of Information: About Brand Greece-Privatisation Policy and the Greek Economy

Greece: “Fibre to the Home” Technology

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Economy and Finance Minister George Alogoskoufis and Transport and Communication Minister Kostas Hatzidakis discussed on July 30 the basic guidelines regarding the access of two million households and businesses to “Fibre to the Home” (FTTH) technology. FTTH is a network architecture that uses optical fibres to replace all or part of the usual copper local loop used for telecommunications. Past technologies, in order of an increasingly longer fibre loop, are fibre to the neighbourhood and to the building. The project is incorporated in the framework of the “Digital Strategy 2006-2013” and will help extend already existing digital structures and broadband network. On February 5, Hatzidakis said that Greece will invest €2.5 billion in fibre-networks, while the project will be implemented through the Public and Private Partnership. Fibre to the Home Council Europe: www.ftthcouncil.eu; see also: 3rd International Conference on Broadband Internet; Secretariat General for Information: About Brand Greece, Public and Private Partnerships in Greece 

Greece’s Television and Radio Frequency Charts

On July 24 2008, Greek Minister of State Theodoros Roussopoulos and Transport and Communications Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, held a press confrence for the presentation of the frequency chart for digital television tranmission and the frequency chart for analoque radio broadcasting in Greece. The digital broadcast trial period will be launched on November 1, 2008 with digital integration completed by 2015 at the latest, Roussopoulos said, adding that the EU is urging members to adopt digital technology by 2012. The digital frequencies chart is a serious attempt to put the broadcast sector in order, Roussopouloos said, stressing that consultations will be held with all interested parties before any joint ministerial decisions are issued setting the necessary preconditions.  Read the transcript of the press conference in english   Continue reading

Nana Mouskouri’s Farewell Concerts in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The veteran singer Nana Mouskouri is in Athens this week for two farewell concerts today and tomorrow after of nearly half-a-century long career. The sold out concerts are taking place at the Herod Atticus Theatre as part of the Greek Festival. The concerts are also part of a tour which will take her to Australia, Asia, South America, the United States and Canada. From Manos Hatzidakis to Bob Dylan via jazz, gospels and so many more music genres, Mouskouri’ s distinctive voice has sold more than 300 million albums around the world. Besides music, Mouskouri was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1993, and the following year was elected a member of the European Parliament.