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Greece will very soon be an energy hub, Environment minister says
Maniatis referred to the steps taken so far for the exploitation of hydrocarbons, as well as to the benefits that will accrue for the country and local communities. He spoke about the upgrade of Greece's role in the wider region.
He added that the contracts with concessionaires in Patras, Ioannina and Katakolo will be tabled in the Greek parliament within September or early October. Also in October, the Parliament will vote on the adoption of the new, stricter environmental directives of the European Union for sea drilling, to prevent accidents in hydrocarbon exploration, Maniatis said.
The Environment minister responded to those who at times feared that the country's revenue from exploitation of hydrocarbon deposits will go straight to lenders.
As the parliament has already decided, the minister said, all proceeds from hydrocarbon exploration will not go generally the state budget and as many fear to the country’s lenders. Instead, they will be deposited into a special social solidarity fund, and will be primarily used to fund and support the sustainability of the country’s social security system.
To a lesser extent, some funds will be used to support undergraduate and graduate research projects and all research programs by Greek universities and scientists on issues pertaining to exploitation of the country’s mineral wealth, Maniatis explained.
Source: Athens News Agency