The government insists on proceeding with the power interconnection of Crete and Attica without European Commission co-funding. This is made clear in a letter from Energy Minister Giorgos Stathakis to Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, dated January 30.
In his letter the minister argues that Greece supports the realization of the project linking the island of Crete to the mainland power grid as part of the broader scheme to connect the networks of Crete, Cyprus and Israel, as designed and included in the list of the Projects of Common Interest (PCI), but only provided that the national section of the plan is implemented by an entity in which state-controlled Independent Power Transmission Operator (ADMIE) owns a 51 percent stake. Stathakis acknowledges that both Greece and Cyprus would benefit in many ways if the Crete-Attica project stayed in the PCI list. However, he adds that as ADMIE subsidiary Ariadne is the entity that is to implement the project, the only requirement for Greek and Cypriot interests to be preserved is for EuroAsia, the Crete-Cyprus-Israel project’s contractor, to comply with its obligations and accept Ariadne as the entity that will construct the Crete-Attica linkup.
The minister claims EuroAsia has a February 28 deadline to choose whether it accepts the section’s realization by Ariadne, and urges Canete to intervene, saying that otherwise the Greek government will withdraw its support for the entire PCI.
Stathakis further accuses the EuroAsia consortium of violating the cooperation memorandum it signed with ADMIE in October 2017: “Instead of participating in good faith in achieving consensus on promoting the common goal, the project contractor has started a tender for the entire interconnection without the participation of ADMIE, contrary to the aforementioned agreement,” Stathakis claims.