Greece-Bulgaria IGB agreement ratified in parliament on Tuesday

Parliament ratified on Tuesday the Greece-Bulgaria cooperation agreement on the IGB natural gas pipeline project, and the foundation treaty of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF).

A bill including both agreements was voted in by ruling party New Democracy, main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance and Movement for Change (KINAL). It was rejected by the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and MeRA25, while Greek Solution voted ‘present’ in the proceedings.

The full titles of the agreements in the Environment & Energy Ministry bill are “Ratification of the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Hellenic Republic and the Republic of Bulgaria on the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection pipeline (IGB Project)” and “Ratification of the Statute (Establishment) of the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF)”.

The Greece-Bulgaria agreement includes mutual commitments for the construction of the gas pipeline and for the transportation of gas after the project has been completed. Particulars concerning the taxation status of the project and the distribution of profits are also included.

The IGB gas pipeline connects with the Greek national gas transmission system in the area of Komotini, northern Greece, and the Bulgarian national gas transmission system in the area of Stara Zagora. The project is 52 percent complete, Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas said, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

The EastMed Gas Forum is an energy alliance among Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Italy, Jordan, and Palestine; it was established as an international organization in January 2020.