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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 17-03-29

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] ND leader tells EPP meeting Europe needs to be bolder
  • [02] Eight global oil firms interested in fossil fuel exploration in Greece, HELPE says
  • [03] Ministers sign legislation introducing unified passenger fee for all Greek airports

  • [01] ND leader tells EPP meeting Europe needs to be bolder

    New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed the need for a bolder Europe and a deepening of relations during a speech at a conference of the European People's Party (EPP) held on Wednesday and Thursday in Malta.

    "Half-measures are not enough and neither are celebrations over what we have achieved," he said, adding that the European Union's architecture has many problems.

    He urged for a strengthening of the banking union so that there can be common lending for all countries and for a stronger European Coast Guard that will protect borders, noting that all member-states must share migration flows fairly. "It's not a matter of money. It's a matter of political will," he said.

    Mitsotakis said Greece will be among Europe's "first speed" countries and urged all member-states to keep their pledge to NATO for defence spending equal to 2 percent of their GDP.

    Focusing on Greece, he said it was the first country to be affected by populism and will be the first to win the battle against it. "The battle against populism can be won by all of us, our countries, by implementing policies that prioritize reforms and are guided by the truth," he said.

    [02] Eight global oil firms interested in fossil fuel exploration in Greece, HELPE says

    Eight foreign oil firms have expressed interest in collaborating with Hellenic Petroleum (HELPE) to search for oil and gas in the Arta-Preveza areas and the northwestern Peloponnese, the general director of HELPE's Oil & Gas Exploration and Production Division Yiannis Grigoriou said on Wednesday.

    These included oil giants Total, Shell, Repsol, Japex, Dana Petroleum, INA and Hunt, Grigoriou said, announcing that HELPE was currently in negotiations with these groups.

    Speaking at an energy conference held at the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Grigoriou said that the concession contracts for the two areas had been agreed with the environment and energy ministry. What now remained to be done was an evaluation by the Court of Audit, their signature and ratification by Parliament, he added.

    HELPE was currently in negotiations with a total of 25 companies interested in conducting oil exploration in areas of Greece, he revealed, and had already initialled agreements for the concession to Block 2 northwest of Corfu to a consortium made up by Total and Edison. Also to be initialled soon was a contract for exploration in an area off Kyparissia Bay, he said.

    [03] Ministers sign legislation introducing unified passenger fee for all Greek airports

    A fee imposed on the airline tickets of passengers travelling from all Greek airports will be set at 12 euros for all destinations following a new amendment tabled on Wednesday by Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos and Transport Minister Christos Spirtzis.

    The change will take effect as soon as 14 regional airports come under the control of German operator Fraport and stay into effect until November 1, 2024. After that date, the fee, known as the "modernization and development tax" (or spatosimo), will drop to three euros for all passengers departing from the airports.

    The amendment lowers the age of passengers who are required to pay the fee to two years of age from a current five. According to the government, this will greatly increase revenues.

    Until today, the tax imposed different charges depending on the final destination. It was 12 euros for passengers traveling to airports within the European Union, the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation, and climbed to 22 euros for passengers whose final destination is outside these countries.

    "The fee should be unified for all airports regardless of the final destination of departing passengers, for reasons of equal treatment of passengers who start from different airports, to create healthy competition between airports and for practical reasons of uniform application," the amendment states.


    Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article
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