25 April, 2007
Development Ministry general secretary Nikos Stefanou officially opened the 10th Athens Forum of the SE Europe Energy Community that is taking place in the city on Tuesday and Wednesday. Athens was named as the seat of both the Energy Community Regulatory Board (ECRB) and the Electricity Forum, based on the energy community's founding treaty signed on 25 October 2005.
In his speech, Stefanou stressed that the Energy Community would contribute greatly to the energy security of its members but also the European Union as a whole, while its goal was to convert southeastern Europe from a passive consumer to a future energy conduit between East and West.
A major part of Greece's energy strategy in recent years was focused on reinforcing its energy ties with neighbouring countries and creating new, large-scale interconnection projects that would give Greece a more important position on the international energy map.
As examples, he listed an upcoming trilateral agreement between Greece, Italy and Turkey for the transfer of natural gas from Turkey's eastern border to Italy via Greece, which would provide the EU with yet another point of natural gas supply from the Caspian Sea.
Greece also plans to further develop existing energy grid links with Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Italy, while Greece and Italy are soon to submit a proposal to the European Commission for the creation of yet another regional energy market in the Mediterranean, as per an initiative begun by Italian premier Romano Prodi.
Source: Athens News Agency