ECONOMY

EU delivers ultimatum on Crete linkup

eu-delivers-ultimatum-on-crete-linkup

The European Commission has sent Athens an ultimatum regarding the planned power interconnection between Greece’s mainland electricity grid and the island of Crete and its funding by the Projects of Common Interest framework.

In a January 15 letter to Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis, Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete warned the project may have to proceed on national funding alone, in which case Greece will also have to consider the geopolitical implications of Cyprus’s energy isolation, as well as the financial implications from missing out on European Union subsidies.

The commissioner also cited possible regulatory consequences, raising the issue of legal moves by the Commission.

The distance between Greece and Brussels stems from the arbitrary concession of the Attica-Crete electricity interconnection project to Ariadne, a 100 percent subsidiary of state-run Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE), while the EuroAsia Interconnector consortium had already started the process for the approval of subsidies for the Crete-Attica linkup that would form part of the Brussels-funded connection project of Israel with Cyprus, Crete and mainland Greece.