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Karamanlis – Berlusconi Focus on Energy & Migration

karamberlouskoni(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Illegal migration was the focus of discussions Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis held in Rome with his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi. In brief statements after the meeting Karamanlis said that the EU should act for the solution of the problem, in particular towards the signing of repatriation agreements with the migrants’ countries of origin and transit and the strengthening the EU’s border agency Frontex. Berlusconi struck a similar note, calling on all member states to contribute to efforts to tackle the problem.  The two Prime Ministers also discussed energy issues, especially the progress made in the two major projects currently underway, the South Stream and the Turkish-Greek-Italian (ITGI) natural gas pipelines.  “The agreement signed just Wednesday, July 15, between Greece and Bulgaria for an offshoot of ITGI gives this project even greater importance,” said the Greek PM.

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Greece, Russia Forge Ties

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis met yesterday with President Vladimir Putin within the framework of an official visit of the Greek premier to Russia before the “changing of the guard” in Kremlin on May 7, when Putin hands over his position to President-elect Dmitry Medvedev. Karamanlis is accompanied by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, State Minister and government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos, as well as Development Minister Christos Folias. The strategic relation between Greece and Russia as well as the personal ties of mutual understanding between the two leaders were reiterated in a joint press conference, during which, Putin and Karamanlis announced the signing of an energy deal which consolidates Greece’s participation in the South Stream gas pipe, which will render Greece into an energy hub in its region. The South Stream project will transfer Russian gas under the Black Sea to Bulgaria before splitting in two branches. One branch will transfer the gas to Austria, while the other branch will head to Italy passing through Greek territory. Karamanlis stated that Greece opts for energy security combined with diversification both in sources and means of transport, given the country’s aggregated demand for energy supplies due to growing economic development.    Continue reading

Greece: Energy Matters

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Development Minister Christos Folias in an interview with Reuters April 16 said, that Greece has agreed to join Russian-backed South Stream gas pipeline which will take Siberian gas to southern Europe through Greece. The pipeline is a joint project by Gazprom and Italian ENI. Serbia, Bulgaria and Hungary recently joint the South Stream project. Countering views seen this project as a competitor to the long-stalled Nabucco pipeline, the Minister said: “I don’t want to see them as athletes competing against each other. I would say they are complementing each other and are offering Europe multiple energy providers, which is good.”   Continue reading