Call to put oil deposits on negotiating table

The exploitation of Greece’s undersea oil deposits in the northeast Aegean should be included in Turkey’s EU accession talks, a former environment minister said yesterday. Evangelos Couloumbis, who served as environment minister during the 1980s in the socialist PASOK government, told a conference that oil deposits in the region around the northeast Aegean island of Thasos could meet between 30 to 35 percent of Greece’s energy requirements. «The Foreign Affairs Ministry should put the issue on the bargaining table, taking advantage of new ties emerging with Turkey and the European Union,» he said. «The exploitation of Greek oil reserves will give major impetus to the economy,» he added.