Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivered a speech on environmental issues claiming that climate and environment protection is a government priority; however not a word was said regarding the oil spill that has endangered Salamis Island, and the coastline south of Athens.
During his speech at the Clean Energy for EU Islands forum held in Chania, Crete, Tsipras spoke about clean and renewable energy, but, as political observers noticed, he failed to address the issue that has been dominating the Greek public opinion, since the sinking of the tanker off Salamis on September 10.
In his speech, the PM said that Greece “is the only lignite-producing country in the European Union which has been pushing for the adoption of stricter limits on emissions,” and added: “But our efforts and contribution to clean energy transition are multi-faceted.”
Domestically, he said, the share of renewables in the energy mix is steadily increasing and the achievement of European targets in 2020 can be taken for granted.
“We have adopted the guaranteed price system and the first competitive process for photovoltaic plants,” the prime minister underlined.
Tsipras stated that “we are completing the consultation with the European Commission on a plan for competitive bidding for all forms of renewable energy sources – photovoltaics, wind power or, if there is interest, biomass and small hydroelectric plants. ”
“At the same time, we are promoting a modern Special Spatial Plan for Renewable Energy Sources, the existence of which will help avoid time-consuming legal implications,” he said.
“In cooperation with the Commission, we are also moving forward with the modernization of the environmental licensing framework for renewable energy sources”, Tsipras noted.
The prime minister also stressed that “we rendered long-term energy planning a political priority. And that, despite the seven-year economic and social crisis from which we are now exiting.”