Romania and Greece sign energy cooperation deal

BUCHAREST (AFP) – Romania and Greece signed an energy cooperation deal here yesterday, the prime ministers of both countries announced at a press conference. «The energy sector is very important, one of the crucial sectors for our two countries and for all EU states, and signing this deal symbolizes the collaboration between Romania and Greece,» Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis told a joint press conference with Romanian counterpart Calin Tariceanu. The aim of the deal is to «establish a framework to provide a base for cooperation between the two countries in the oil, natural gas and electricity sectors,» the Romanian government said in a statement. The agreement will also facilitate «the sharing of experience in the energy sector» and «the development of transparency mechanisms to increase energy trade in the region,» it said. Tariceanu also told journalists, «We talked about linking our energy grids so that Romania, which produces and can also export electricity, may supply Greece as it already has during periods of high consumption.» Trade between Romania and Greece amounts to over 1 billion euros per year, and some 800 Greek firms have a base in Romania, according to Karamanlis. The Greek prime minister, in Romania for a one-day visit, also met with President Traian Basescu yesterday.