Co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in Aegean 'out of discussion'

 Co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in Aegean 'out of discussion'

Athens News Agency, 5 March 2013

 

AMNA--"Matters of co-exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Aegean are out of discussion," PASOK parliamentary group secretary Yannis Maniatis, a former deputy environment and energy minister, said on Tuesday, in an exclusive interview on AMNA web TV.
"We have the Law of the Sea (UN Convention on the Law of the Sea) on our side. The mainland and island regions of our country have their own Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), which is delineated on the basis of the principle of equal distances. It is what the Law of the Sea gives us and which we employ as a strong weapon in our negotiations with all our neighbors," Maniatis said.

 

 

On Greece's mineral wealth, Maniatis noted that "we must all believe that the nature of our geography has endowed us, as a country, with much wealth. Naturally there are the hydrocarbons, but there is also the rest of the mineral wealth in mainland Greece".
 
"Therefore, if we invest responsibly, seriously, steadfastly, and with inter-party agreement, in the hydrocarbons in both the marine and mainland areas, the Greek state can anticipate revenues which we had not even calculated on a few years ago," Maniatis added.amna
 
According to estimations, based on a the current mean price of 100 dollars per barrel of oil, Greece could anticipate some 150 billion euros in the next 30 years, Maniatis said in reply to a question on the financial aspect.
 
Maniatis said that PASOK has proposed a draft law be formulated -- which proposal has been accepted by the government -- that the above money not be used for state expenditures but instead go into a "Social Fund for Solidarity of the Generations" which, under the Norwegian model, will be used only for the sustainability of the country's social security system.
 
"We therefore consider it necessary that these monies be invested in the next generations, and perhaps a small percentage could be used to invest in research and technology, innovation, to boost science and knowledge, mainly among young people that cannot get scholarships or financial support from elsewhere. Consequently, the mineral wealth is a great opportunity to increase the state revenues, but this must be done with religious devotion to protection of the environment, sustainable growth and preservation of what nature has gifted to us," he stressed.amna
 
To another question, Maniatis said that Greece's mineral wealth, "which is indeed a big dowry for the present but also for the future generations, is an immense bequeathal for a future in which the country will not rely on borrowed money, but rather a future founded on our own powers, on our own comparative advantages, and can give us optimism that we can overcome the difficult circumstances we are facing today".
 
Asked if Turkey is putting forward an issue of co-exploitation of the hydrocarbon deposits in the Aegean, Maniatis said that "matters of co-exploitation are outside any discussion whatsoever", adding that Greece has the Law of the Sea on its side.amna
 
He noted that in August 2011 parliament passed Article 156, which says that the country's mainland and island regions have their own exclusive economic zone, which is delineated on the basis of the principle of equal distances. It is what the Law of the Sea gives us and which we employ as a strong weapon in our negotiations with all our neighbors".
 
http://www.hri.org/news/greek/apeen/2013/13-03-05_1.apeen.html