International Media Say Greece TAP Winner

tap_5The signing of an agreement that will bring the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) through Greece, inked by Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras and Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Makis Papageorgiou, and by TAP’s Managing Director, Kjetil Tungland, brought international attention.

The articles said Greece came out a big winner as a competing project, Nabucco West, that would have bypassed the country, lost the bid to transfer gas from Azerbaijan to central and western Europe, ending in Italy.

The Austrian media paid particular attention because one of its companies was linked to Nabucco and journalists there said the choice of TAP was a political decision that would cause higher prices for natural gas in Greece and Italy even though they are transit countries.

The Austrian media said the choice of TAP was a big blow to the country and that Turkey also emerged as a winner. Russian media reports noted that that TAP is competitive with the Russian South Stream pipeline and that Gazprom should get prepared to fight for the European market. It noted that once Greece sells off its gas distribution company DESFA that Gazprom “can say goodbye to Greece’s market.”

Serbian media mentioned that Greece, which is dependent on international lenders, somehow emerged to be the new strategic, energy pillar of the EU and the Western Balkans.

State media report that Azerbaijan’s President uses natural gas in order to take advantage politically, as the European Commission has made him a privileged partner among the other leaders of the former Soviet countries and that he is trying to achieve a favorable treatment by the European media for the internal situation in his country.

The American media estimate that the pipeline’s selection was based on the cost’s calculation, adding that Italy and Greece constitute better markets for natural gas in relation to Bulgaria and Hungary. They also point out the importance of the selling of the public natural gas supply corporation of Greece, DESFA to Azerbaijan’s company SOCAR with TAP’s selection. The Italian media hailed the deal as well.