ATHENS – The EastMed natural gas pipeline signed by Greece, Cyprus and Israel earlier in the year was ratified in committee on Monday evening, with a wide majority.
Signed in Athens by the leaders of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel in January 2020, the accord passed the first stage ahead of ratification with the votes of ruling New Democracy, main opposition SYRIZA and Movement for Change (KINAL). The Communist Party (KKE) and MeRA25 voted against, while Greek Solution said it would reserve judgment until the plenary vote on Thursday.
In his address to the parliament's Standing Committee on Production and Trade Committee, Energy & Environment Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said the accord will strengthen the strategic relations of Greece with Cyprus and Israel.
The pipeline, he added, also provided a practical response to Turkey's revisionism and provocations in the East Mediterranean. Hatzidakis also did not exclude the possibility that more countries, such as Egypt, could join the project. "The pipeline's final route is open," he noted.
Following the vote, Hatzidakis called the accord "one of the most important international energy agreements, which will change the landscape in relation to natural gas pipelines, not just for Greece but for Europe as well."