Greece targets to invest in green development
Oct 22, 2010 - Xinhua
Greece aims to secure investments up to 44 billion euros
(60.9 billion U.S. dollars) and create 200, 000 new job
positions by 2015 in green development projects, said on
Wednesday Greek Environment, Energy and Climate Change
Minister Tina Birbili in Athens.
Addressing a forum organized by Economist on the theme
of the green agenda after Copenhagen, Birbili presented
the main points of the Greek government's plan to boost
economic development in the debt-ridden country, based
on a new environmental friendly model.
"The Greek government chose to support our efforts
to exit the economic crisis through a new green development
model," said Birbili, referring to the acute crisis
that led Greece to the brink of default this spring.
In regards to the Greek strategic plan to turn to green
economy, she explained that it focuses on lowering carbon
emissions through investments on renewable energy sources,
the sustainable management of natural sources, the improvement
of quality of daily life and the enhancement of environmental
Noting that the main question today is not whether Greece
or other countries around the globe should combine development
with respect to the environment, but how quickly they should
act, Birbili added that during 2008-2009 one out of six
aid packages to support the international economy, approximately
3 trillion euros ( 4.1 trillion U.S. dollars), was focused
on green development actions.
Calling on all countries to take more steps against climate
change after last year's conference in Copenhagen and ahead
of the forthcoming meeting in Mexico, Birbili stressed
that EU member countries are not willing to engage in more
action, until the U.S., China and developing economies
will also agree to obligatory targets.
"The priority today is a commitment on a global level
to address climate change," said Greek Deputy Minister
of Foreign Affairs Spyros Kouvelis during the same Economist
forum talking about the ways countries in South-East Europe
tackle the climate change.
"The Black Sea turns green," noted Kouvelis,
referring to the Greek government's initiative to boost
collaboration on environmental protection in the region.
Greece holds the rotating presidency of Black Sea Economic
Cooperation since July and organizes a ministerial forum
aiming at a joint declaration on Nov. 26.
On Oct. 22 Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou hosts
in Athens a forum on another Greek initiative concerning
the climate change in the Mediterranean. Prime ministers
of the area, such as Turkish Recep Tayip Erdogan and Palestinian
Salam Fayyad are expected to attend.
Kouvelis also referred during his address to the decision
of two state-run companies of Qatar to quit a consortium
which planned a major 3.5 billion euro ( 4.86 billion U.S.
dollars) energy project in Greece to construct a power
complex at the western Greece port of Astakos and export
On bilateral level all the necessary procedures to obtain
licenses were made, stressed Kouvelis, adding that problems
occurred on private level with Italian clients over the
price of the product.
The development is regarded by local analysts as a blow
to Greek government's efforts to attract foreign investments.
Greek government spokesman George Petalotis reassured
on Wednesday that the issue will not complicate a bilateral
deal between Greece and Qatar signed this September in
the U.S. to lay the ground for Qatari investments of up
to 5 billion euros (6.94 billion U.S. dollars) in Greece.