Greece: better to build gas pipeline than castles in air
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb.13
By Maksim Tsurkov - Trend:
It seems that the Greek government starts to realize that a cat-and-mouse behavior in such important issues as ensuring energy security of the country and its economic well-being is dangerous and pointless.
The Greek Energy Minister Panagiotis Lafazanis said that the government supports the construction of Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), IGB gas pipeline (Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria) and will provide full support for the early completion of the project.
After these words, one wants to congratulate Greece on the correct decision, as the previous position, when the government of the country, intending to play on its geographic significance for the project, was trying to "knock out" additional benefit from the shareholders, looked like blackmail and a desire to hit the jackpot.
Lafazanis was going to Baku for the first meeting of the Advisory Council of the Southern Gas Corridor with the clear intention to continue lobbying the issue. It is confirmed by the fact that the issue of benefits for Greece emerged at all negotiations held in Baku by the minister.
However it was made clear to Lafazanis that a bargain is a bargain, and all other issues can be considered and discussed only in a special order.
Greece, which with the aim of making easy money tries to keep a foot in both worlds by simultaneously showing considerable activeness with respect to the Turkish Stream (Russian project for supplying gas to EU through the Southern Europe), should get down to brass tacks.
The implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor project has already started: the foundation has been laid, large amount of investments were made. That's to say, in the medium term, this project will bring considerable amount of revenues to Greece, allow it to create new jobs and highlight the country's importance for the whole Europe.
Moreover, the Russian project deprives the EU of the opportunity to diversify gas supply sources and the only thing that changes is the route.
Probably, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's remarks during the Munich Security Conference also influenced the Greek government. In his speech during that conference, President Aliyev said that coordination, more support and more mutual trust is needed between all the members of the team for the timely completion of the Southern Gas Corridor project.
In general, I want to believe that Greece has realized and reconsidered its destructive position, and further the process of implementation of such a large and important project will go on the schedule and without delay.
Maksim Tsurkov is Trend Agency's staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @MaksimTsurkov