Negotiations between Athens and the European Commission over the sale of Greek lignite plants will be extended for another week in order to finalise the “basket” of lignite plans to be sold off, Environment and Energy Minister Yorgos Stathakis said on the sidelines of a Greek Arab conference yesterday.
Visiting European Commission Vice President and Energy Union head Maros Sefcovic suggested that the government must engage in a sprint to close the issue so as to allow completion of the third evaluation of Greece’s bailout programme.
The Greek government is conducting the negotiations with the EU’s Directorate-General for Competition, headed by Johannes Laitenberger.
According to press leaks, the package will include plants 3 and 4 in Megalopolis, despite the fierce opposition of the Public Power Corporation (DEH).
Delays in negotiations have led to the postponement for at least one month of the market test, which will determine investors’ interest for DEH’s lignite package.
Stathakis and Sevcovic at a meeting yesterday discussed the Commission’s efforts to support clean energy.
One initiative involves additional funding from national budgets, the EU budget, the European Investment Bank, and the private sector to pay for energy-saving projects. National funds earmarked for such projects will be factored in the national debt.
The second initiative involves supporting regions with substantial coal production through the creation of a Just Transition Fund.