Greek Environment Min. Speaks to Radio Stations on EastMed, Power Distribution Operator

Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis. (Photo bt Eurokinissi/ Yiorgos Kontarinis)

ATHENS – Italy is committed to the EU’s Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), and as such, to the EastMed natural gas pipeline production as one of these projects, Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told radio stations Skai and Alpha on Wednesday.

He also referred to Italy’s rejection of Turkey’s claims that the two countries will jointly drill for hydrocarbons in the East Mediterranean, released Thursday. This is beyond international law, the minister said of Turkey’s statements.

Responding to an ANA-MPA report about the state of the network managed by the Hellenic Electricity Distribution Network Operator (DEDDIE), Hatzidakis said that “DEDDIE’s reserves of posts are extremely low and this calls for emergency decisions.”

“The network is outdated, has been abandoned, and 130 million euros were being invested in it annually the last few years, whereas specialists say what is needed is investments of over 200 million euros,” the minister added, noting that staff at the distribution operator were aware of the situation. “The summer of 2019, when I said the state of Public Power Corporation (PPC) finances were dire, I also mentioned the posts. I was accused of trying to undervalue PPC,” he said. But DEDDIE’s partial privatization will help with these issues in the long term, he added.

Among other issues he responded to, Hatzidakis said that Greta Thunberg expressed the hopes of a whole generation and was right about climate change, an issue the government considers one of its priorities, and he termed the selection of the first woman president of Greece, Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou, as “an example of a new European viewpoint concerning political issues.”