The European Commission announced its approval for the Greece - Bulgaria Interconnector (IGB) gas pipeline plans, saying details concerning the construction and operation of the pipeline were compatible with EU rules on state subsidies. Greece's Environment and Energy Minister George Stathakis on Thursday welcomed the European Commission's decision saying that it "opens the way to starting construction of the IGB. This vertical axis diversifies sources of supply and can channel natural gas from the TransAdriatic Pipeline (TAP) and quantities of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) from the terminals at Revythousa and Alexandroupolis. It is a project of strategic significance, which makes Greece an energy hub for the greater region of Southeastern Europe and the main energy portal for Europe, contributing to the unification prospects of the European energy market." Stathakis also announced that Greece's land cadastre should be fully completed by the first half of 2021. "Completing the cadastre is one of the most important reforms carried out in Greece in recent years," Stathakis said, noting that the government's law had "done away with problems going back decades and replaced a status quo of grey zones with rules, regulations and a transparent regulatory framework." From a state of just 25 pct completion when the government took over, the aim was that the cadastre will be fully complete throughout Greece by the first half of 2021 "after having established, for the first time, a single agency through the unification of land registries with cadastre offices," he added. Stathakis noted that 27 contracts were signed at the end of 2017 for cadastral surveys covering 63 pct of the territory of the country and recording 43 pct of citizens' rights to real estate property. Upon completion, he said, there will be a cadastral survey of 132,000 square kilometres of Greek territory and 39 million property rights. Completing the cadastre will create legal security for investments and secure the rights of citizens to their real estate properties, while the Greek state will acquire deeds to its properties. "It is a measure of strategic significance since it is a fundamental condition for reliable spatial planning of the country. This reform is not isolated because it would be incomplete. It is supplemented by another two initiatives undertaken by the government: the posting of forest maps and delineating the coast," the minister said.