Italian FM doubts EastMed pipeline project feasible

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (center), Greek Cypriot administration leader Nicos Anastasiades and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Yiannis Liakos -Anadolu Agency)

Middle East Monitor  /  January 18, 2020

The EastMed pipeline project will fail to be a feasible plan in terms of its cost and construction process, according to Italy’s foreign minister, Anadolu Agency reports.

“It is obvious that the EastMed pipeline project, proposed by Greece, will not be an option in the medium- and long-term compared to other projects, when its cost and the construction process are taken into consideration,” Luigi Di Maio told Anadolu Agency.

Asked why Italy did not attend the signature ceremony of the EastMed project early January despite invitation, Di Maio said the project should prove that it is economically sustainable.

“I believe that this infrastructure, which can play a positive role in diversifying European resources, must prove that it can attract the necessary capital for its construction and it can be economically sustainable,” he said.

On January 1, Greece, Israel, and the Greek Cypriot administration signed an agreement for the EastMed project to build a 1,900-kilometer (1,180-mile) natural gas pipeline that will run from Israel through Southern Cyprus, Crete, Greece and ultimately to Italy.

His remarks came ahead of Libya talks set to be held in Berlin on Sunday.

Germany will host a major peace conference on Libya that will seek a stronger commitment from regional actors for a cease-fire in the war-torn country to pave the way for a political solution.

On the hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Di Maio said these activities brought new scenarios for the region’s energy security, especially for Italy and the EU.

He said there must be a spirit of cooperation to make the energy sources in the Mediterranean a development and growth factor for all countries in the region.