ATHENS – Greece and Saudi Arabia have agreed to a joint venture agreement to lay down a fiber-optic data cable that will tie Asia to Europe through the so-called East to Med Data data corridor (EMC.)
That’s an undersea and land data cable to will be developed by MENA HUB, owned by Saudi Arabia’s STC and Greek telecoms and satellite applications company TTSA, said Reuters.
Greece’s power utility Public Power Corporation and Cyprus’ telecoms operator CYTA will hold a stake in the project, pending final corporate approvals, a Greek diplomat not named told the news agency.
The final closing of the deal is expected by July, for the project to launch in autumn and be completed by the end of 2025, the diplomat said while another close to the deal said it will cost 800 million euros ($857.12 million) and connect users from Singapore to Italy.
It’s also seen in another step by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ New Democracy government to digitize the country that had a notorious reputation for public officials piling stacks of files on floors and shunning modernization efforts.
A big chunk of 32 billion euros ($34.28 billion) in European Union loans and grants designed to aid the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic will instead be steeered toward 5G and fiber-optic infrastructure, the report said.
The deal further shows the world has set aside alleged outrage against Saudi Arabia’s government being accused of murdering Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi and a return to business as usual.