03 April, 2006
Investments in the energy sector, expected to exceed 21 billion euros, are envisioned in the coming years for southeastern Europe, Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas said in Thessaloniki on Saturday, speaking at a meeting of energy ministers from the South East Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) member states.
The minister underlined that "within the framework of the Cooperation Process of the countries of SE Europe, we are working in order for our region to become a unified area, attractive for investments in energy and in the other sectors of the economy, with the aim of granting high level energy products and services."
Sioufas said the operation of the energy community will benefit household, commercial and industrial consumers.
"We all have an interest for the Energy Community to start operating as soon as possible," he said, adding that "it is necessary for every country to speed up its own internal procedures so that the founding Treaty of the Energy Community to be ratified immediately by all," he said at the meeting, entitled "Fundamental Pillars of Development in SE Europe".
Referring to the construction of the Burgas-Alexandroupoli oil pipeline, Sioufas stressed: "We are responding to the need for yet another channel for the transport of the oil from the Caspian Sea region to international markets, complementary and not competitive towards the Bosporus or other oil pipelines, which are either already in operation or are in the stage of construction."
"Greece along with Turkey and Italy support the construction of two natural gas pipelines that will transport natural gas from the Caspian Sea region and the Middle East to the markets of Europe."
Meanwhile, a joint communiqué released at the conclusion of the meeting noted that the representatives of the SEECP countries agreed to intensify cooperation so at to improve energy effectiveness and energy-saving and to continue with the implementation of the Treaty of the Energy Community, one aimed at achieving specific results to the benefit of the peoples of the region.
Apart from Greece, taking part in the meeting were ministers and deputy ministers from Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Austria. Also taking part as observers were representatives from the United States, Russia and Moldova.
Source: Athens News Agency