Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Demographic decline in Greece

In a new law voted yesterday, Greece will pay 2000 euros to the parents of every newborn to reverse depopulation, an economic and national security issue. In 2008-18, births declined from 118,302 to 86,440. Deaths increased from 107,979 to 120,297. The pop deficit last year was 33,857.

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Why Greece is key to US plans to sell more natural gas to Europe

An abridged version of this article was published by Al Jazeera International

ATHENS, Greece - Two geostrategic energy alliances are crossing swords over southeast Europe and the eastern Mediterranean. Between them, they plan billions of dollars’ worth of competing infrastructure projects. The ones that succeed will create the regional energy map of the future, and 2020 is shaping up to be a pivotal year in deciding their fate.

On one end of the piste stands the Russian-Turkish energy alliance, which seeks to boost Russia’s natural gas exports through new pipelines, and Turkey’s status as an energy transit hub to Europe. On the other end stands the rapidly advancing Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) industry and its new champions, the Unites States, Israel, Egypt, Cyprus and Greece.

Both alliances are vying to sell natural gas to the European market, which has undertaken the world’s most ambitious decarbonisation programme. Over the next decade, Europe is forecast to bridge its transition from coal to renewable energy by importing increasing amounts of natural gas.

Greece, Israel, Cyprus, move forward to build East Med pipeline

This article was published by Al Jazeera International.

ATHENS, Greece - The governments of Greece, Israel and Cyprus on Thursday signed an agreement to build a pipeline that could supply Europe with four percent of its annual gas needs by the middle of the decade.

“Today we did not simply sign a beneficial agreement. We sealed our resolve for a strategic connection between our countries in a region that now more than ever needs growth and security,” said Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The agreement is a statement of political will, but it is now up to the construction consortium, led by the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) and Italy’s Edison, to find the roughly 6bn euros ($6.7bn) the pipeline is estimated to cost.

Greek tour of Arab capitals to shore up support in territorial standoff with Turkey

This article was published by Al Jazeera International.

ATHENS, Greece - Greek foreign minister Nikos Dendias embarked on a tour of Arab capitals on Tuesday to shore up Muslim support for Greece in its latest diplomatic standoff with Turkey over maritime borders.

The dispute was sparked by Turkey’s signature on November 27 of two maritime jurisdiction memoranda with the Government of National Accord in Libya. They award Turkey and Libya an area Greece claims as part of its islands’ maritime territory.

Dendias began his tour in Riyadh on Tuesday, where he met with Saudi king Mohammed bin Salman. “We have a common understanding that these memoranda create a problem in the broader region,” said Dendias. “We shall continue to monitor the situation and be in touch to co-ordinate initiatives.”