On Tuesday, parliament ratified the Greece-Bulgaria cooperation agreement on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) natural gas pipeline project, and the foundation treaty of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF).
New Democracy, SYRIZA and Movement for Change (KINAL) voted in favour of the draft law, while it was rejected by the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and MeRA25. Greek Solution voted 'present' in the proceedings.
The IGB has been characterised as a project of "national importance" by Greece under Law 4001/2001, as well as by the Council of Ministers of Bulgaria.
It connects with the Greek national gas transmission system in the area of Komotini, northern Greece, and the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora.
The full titles of the agreements in the Environment & Energy Ministry bill are "Ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection pipeline (IGB Project)" and "Ratification of the Statute (Establishment) of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)".
The agreements include mutual commitments for the construction of the gas pipeline and for the transportation of gas after the project has been completed.
Particulars concerning the taxation status of the project and the distribution of profits are also included.
The length of the IGB gas pipeline is estimated at 182km, of which 151km is in Bulgaria and the remaining 31km in Greece.
According to Greek Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas the project is 52% completed.
It is expected to be done by the end of 2021.
The EastMed Gas Forum is an energy alliance among Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and Palestine. It was established as an international organisation in January 2020.