19 May, 2009
Prime minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday stressed that his government was consistently implementing a responsible policy of multiple directions and alternative solutions that strengthens Greece's geostragic position and decisively contributes to the European Union's energy security, referring to last week's signing of the agreement for the South Stream natural gas pipeline, in statements to the press after a visit Monday morning to the development ministry and talks with minister Costis Hatzidakis and deputy ministers George Vlachos and Yiannis Bougas.
The premier said that the discussion, which was also attended by the ministry's secretaries general, encompassed all matters falling under the ministry's competence, and stressed that he had called on the ministry leadership to undertake, each week, "a new action that will make the lives of our fellow citizens more comfortable, that will make the Greek businessmen and consumers feel more secure".
The premier further noted the policies introduced to boost the liquidity of business concerns, and especially the SMEs via the TEMPME (Credit Guarantee Fund for Small and Micro Enterprises), stressing that a further 50,000 enterprises would receive loans under the second stage of the TEMPME program, raising the overall sum of loans extended with State guarantees to 9.5 million euros to a total of 77,000 enterprises. He also noted the Operational Program "Competitiveness-Entrepre-eurship" under the Fourth Community Support Framework (CSF), the target for which is activation of 40 percent of its resources by end-October.
In the energy sector, Karamanlis highlighted the new institutional framework for renewable energy sources (RES), the energy yield of buildings and the energy conservation policies introduced by his government, stressing that the installed power in RES has tripled over the past five years. All these, he said, place Greece on the path of green development.
Turning to the country's energy agreements, Karamanlis stressed that the Turkey-Greece-Italy natural gas pipeline was heading speedily towards completion, the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline was moving ahead without obstacles, and the Haskovo-Komotini natgas pipeline was also progressing, while a new liquefied natural gas (LNG) station was being planned in Northern Greece.
"I instructed the development ministry to carry on with the same methodicalness, the same and even greater determination -- to continue with the same extroversion, the same effectiveness -- the implementation of our energy policy. In other words, to continue to responsibly advance the country's interests".
Source: Athens News Agency