EU approves Greek deal, paving way for trans-Adriatic gas pipeline

The European Commission gave its blessing Thursday to a deal struck by Greece for the construction of a new pipeline transporting gas from Azerbaijan, which is meant to reduce European energy dependence on Russia.

The 878-kilometre Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) would help bring 10 billion cubic metres of gas per year from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field to Italy, passing through Greece, Albania and under the Adriatic Sea. First deliveries to Europe are expected in 2020.

The deal Greece struck with the TAP companies foresees 25 years of tax benefits for the project.

The tax benefits could distort competition in the European energy market, but would be outweighed by the benefits that the project will bring, for instance in diversifying Europe's energy supply, the commission found.

"The investment incentives offered by the Greek government are limited to what is necessary to make the project happen and in compliance with state aid rules," EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.

The joint venture of energy companies that will build and operate TAP plans to invest 5.6 billion euros (6 billion dollars) over five years in the project, 2.3 billion euros of which would be in Greece, according to the commission.

Last update: Fri, 24/06/2016 - 08:49

More from Europe

Britain's May will be first foreign leader to meet President Trump

British Prime Minister Theresa May will be the first foreign leader to visit new US President Donald Trump, the...

Brexit is "hostile action" for Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein says

Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union is a "hostile action" for the...

"We shall overcomb": Tens of thousands join London Women's March

An estimated 100,000 people gathered in central London on Saturday for a rally and march to show support for the...

Slovenian interior minister says Geneva convention outdated

Slovenia will not let others run its asylum policy and mange its borders, and the Geneva convention on refugees is...

Trump win causes right-wing hearts to soar at meeting in Germany

Looking west the day after US President Donald Trump's inauguration, European right-wing party leaders who had...