Greece presses for Bourgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline

The Greek government will “undertake a diplomatic initiative” in an attempt to salvage the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis gas pipeline project which was scrapped by Bulgaria last week, Bulgaria media reported on June 22 2010.

The Greek on-line edition Naftemporiki revealed that deputy energy minister Yannis Manyatis announced that the country would launch the initiative in “coming weeks”.

The Greeks are concerned because Bulgaria plans to pull out of the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis gas pipeline project permanently. The decision was announced by Prime Minister Boiko Borissov in front of European Union ambassadors.

According to Bulgarian Focus news agency, Greece has stressed that the government has not changed its policy on the pipeline and is concerned about negative signals emanating from Bulgaria. Reportedly, members of the Greek opposition party New Democracy have accused the Pasok-led government of making no effort to discuss the matter with the Bulgarian government, which appears to have decided to scrap the project permanently.

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borissov said on June 18 that he would support the construction of the Belene nuclear plant only if there were coherent financial parameters for the project and a sound basis for return on investment, but that the Bourgas-Alexandroupolis pipeline project is a no-go.

He said the decision was taken because the pipeline was planned to cross a section of land that is a national reserve and that local residents were staunchly opposed to it.

However, he would support the construction of another nuclear power plant, if the price is reviewed, because he believed the facility could be constructed for 300 million euro less than the specified price.

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