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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-13

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Energy taxes need to be lowered, Environment and Energy minister says

  • [01] Energy taxes need to be lowered, Environment and Energy minister says

    "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: ANA-MPA -- The tax burden on energy has to be lowered, while renewable energy resources need to be introduced in a rational way and at competitive prices, Environment and Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis told an energy conference on Monday. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: The focus during Greece's presidency in the EU will be the 2030 agenda, which will determine the balance between the protection of the environment and the energy mix in the EU. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: The targets, Maniatis pointed out, should be ambitious, so that the EU can still be a world pioneer in the protection of the environment. At the same time, the competitiveness of the European industry - not just of energy consuming companies but also of small and medium-sized ones - should be safeguarded, in a bid to support employment. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: According to the minister, the energy cost of the US industry is 30 percent lower compared to Europe, making the latter less competitive in the international market. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: Maniatis termed the Greek presidency as the most challenging six months of the last decade, pointing out that Greece is on a turning point toward growth and lower unemployment and that sacrifices have started to pay off. "Numbers confirm we can be optimistic," the minister said, underlining a need for unity. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: He also mentioned that the informal Energy Council in May will deal with issues related to energy safety and infrastructure, such as the south natural gas stream (TAP and the Greek-Bulgarian pipelines) and the prospects of Eastern Mediterranean deposits supplying Europe. It will also discuss EU projects of mutual interest, including the electric and natural gas interconnection of Israel, Cyprus and Greece and the natural gas deposit in Kavala, in Northern Greece. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: Regarding the approval of the privatization of natural gas transmission operator (DESFA) by the EU, he said there shouldn't be any delays since the whole process was in line with EU's transparency rules and regulatory framework. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: The head of Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry Konstantinos Michalos pointed out that lately Greece has been gaining an important role in the Southeastern Europe energy market. He termed hydrocarbon exploration a hopeful prospect that can generate major benefits to the Greek and the European economy. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: He said, though, that the agreements in Western Europe need to be signed and proposals for exploration in other areas need to be considered. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: Regarding the renewable energy sources, he pointed out that the uncertainty needs to be lifted and called on the government to present its proposals on its plans to cover the market deficiencies. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: He said it was wrong to undermine the competitiveness of businesses by increasing fees in order to finance deficits. He added, though, it would be just as wrong to blame any failures of the regulatory energy framework on renewable energy resources. "Verdana","sans-serif";mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman";mso-bidi-font-family: Public Power Corp's chairman and chief executive Arthur Zervos said the company is being more extrovert in a bid to increase crossborder trade with Bulgaria and Turkey.

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