The Eastern Mediterranean pipeline or simply EastMed is a planned offshore/onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean energy resources to mainland Greece via Cyprus and Crete. The project, currently in design, will transport natural gas from the off-shore gas reserves in the Levantine Basin (west coast of Israel) into Greece, and in conjunction with the Poseidon and Interconnector Greece–Bulgaria (IGB) pipelines into Italy and other European regions. The pipeline will have a length of approximately 1,900 km, reach depths of 3 km, and have a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year. Construction of the pipeline is expected to take around seven years with an approximate cost of $7 billion. The pipeline is being developed by IGI Poseidon S.A., a 50-50% joint venture between the Greek gas utility ”DEPA” and the Italian gas utility ”Edison”. 

On 7th May 2019, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte expressed, at an occasion close to Rome, that Italy will restrict the development of Poseidon pipeline, the last area of EastMed interfacing Greece and Italy by means of the Adriatic Sea, putting the whole venture under consideration. However, on 1st January 2020, it was accounted that the Italian Minister of Economic Development, Stefano Patuanelli, had sent to his Greek partner a letter of help for the EastMed pipeline, hence re-establishing the sponsorship of Italy for the project.

The Ministerial Meeting’s outcomes are a follow-up of the G20 Leaders’ Summit, which was held from 28-29th June, 2019. Leaders adopted the ‘G20 Osaka Leaders’ Declaration,’ which includes a section on energy and energy efficiency. The Declaration acknowledges the importance of energy transitions that realize the ‘3E+S’ (Energy Security, Economic Efficiency and Environment + Safety) to transform energy systems into affordable, reliable, sustainable and low-emission systems. The Declaration promotes the role of all energy sources and technologies in the energy mix and a range of possible paths to achieve cleaner energy systems. It recognizes opportunities presented by further development of innovative, clean and efficient technologies for energy transitions, the importance of global energy security for energy system transformation and international cooperation on energy access, affordability, efficiency and storage. Leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to medium-term rationalization and phasing-out of “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” that encourage wasteful consumption, while providing targeted support for the poorest populations. 

On 2 January 2020, the understanding to develop the pipeline was marked in Athens by the pioneers of Greece, Cyprus, and Israel. Speaking to writers, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the pipeline is “not implied as a danger to anyone”. Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both portrayed the agreement as “historic”. The agreement was announced to have arrangements for guaranteeing the security of the pipeline and a typical duty regime. However, the understanding has enraged Turkey. Turkey is a key travel country for provisions of Russian gaseous petrol on their approach to Europe, giving Turkey a well-spring of influence over Europe. This new well-spring of European vitality supply undermines their impact. 

The 1,300-mile EastMed pipeline will interface all the ‘as of late found’ gas fields underneath the ocean bottom along the south-eastern Mediterranean to Greece, and from Greece to a nexus of vitality pipelines in Italy that feeds Europe. Evaluated to cost around €6 billion, the EastMed line would supply around 4%, or an underlying 10 billion cubic meters, of the European Union’s yearly petroleum gas imports. EU nations presently meet around 40% of their gaseous petrol import needs with gas from Russia.

According to the KKE (Communist Party of Greece)’s statement, “Greece’s participation in one or the other energy pipeline, on behalf of large business groups and geo-strategic aspirations, neither brought nor will bring benefits for the working people, as the participation in the TAP [Trans Adriatic Pipeline] pipeline has shown. The beneficiaries will be the large groups which will be involved in the construction and management of the pipeline. The people, who are already paying many energy ‘taxes’, will continue experiencing energy poverty, paying for their needs. The risks for the marine environment by the mining and transport plans are already a matter of concern for Justice in countries, such as in Israel. 

The alliances set up with Israel, Egypt, Cyprus or other states, with the participation of the US and France, set the ground for the escalation of Turkish aggression in a ‘race’ of the big interests. The strengthening of US presence in East Mediterranean, which is also promoted by the US law ‘EastMed’ Act, fuels the vicious circle of imperialist competitions. The developments of the past period, from Cyprus to Libya, are instructive for anyone who still believes that Greece’s siding with the imperialist plans of the US and Israel can be a shield for the protection of peace and sovereign rights against the aggression of the Turkish bourgeoisie. 

The ‘East Med’ deal is part of Mr. Mitsotakis’ ‘dowry’ in his US trip, for the meeting with Trump that leads to new dangerous commitments in the service of the US-NATO imperialism, as it was proved during the SYRIZA government with the Greek-US agreement for the bases which transforms Greece into a war base and a military target in a possible general armed confrontation in the region.

The people need to draw the right conclusions and, alongside the KKE to strengthen their struggle against the anti-people policy that gives everything to the capital, abolishing rights and engaging the country in imperialist plans, in order to form their conditions to become the owners of wealth they produce and to utilize the energy source for their own needs”.

Prime Minister of Northern Cyprus, Ersin Tatar stated that the East-Med understanding between the Greek Cyprus, Israel and Greece isn’t in accordance with local security substances and achieves the probability of genuine insecurity. “It is seen that because of the political dreams, the activity isn’t from financial assessments, yet proposed to deny the Turkish and Turkish Cypriots’ privileges on the vitality sources,” he added. He also said that any endeavor to bar Turkey and Turkish Cypriots from the condition would prompt another acceleration hazard, given the provincial vitality geo-politics and the national force limits of the eastern Mediterranean state. 

The 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) pipeline will have the option to move between 9 billion and 12 billion cubic meters a year from seaward gas holds among Israel and Greek Cyprus to Greece, and afterward on to Italy and other south-eastern European nations. 

In 1974, after an overthrow focusing on Cyprus’ extension by Greece, Ankara needed to intercede as an underwriter power. In 1983, Turkish Cyprus was established. Turkey contends that the Greek Cypriot government ought not have begun gas investigations before arriving at a settlement in reunification with the Turkish Cypriots. It is evaluated that the exchange cost of the petroleum gas would be multiple times less expensive if the pipeline goes through Turkey. 

The decades from that point forward have seen a few endeavors to determine the debate, all consummation in disappointment. But, still the neo-liberal bourgeois heads like USA and other leaderships of G20, to oppose and to cut down all the superiority of Russia, have dragged a canal to suck all the profit while taking the position against the common people. Though, they explained that it will maintain the economical balance, but it is as clear as water that by the EastMed understanding, the common people will face an unprecedented economic fall down and that cannot be resolved by any bourgeois policy.

Picture Courtesy:

  1. EuroNews
  2. AFP News Agency
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