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13 June, 2024
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Petrides tweets expose EuroAsia Interconnector's risks

Decoding investor identities and €500M EU funding


A series of points accompanied by questions were posted on Twitter by former Minister of Finance, Constantinos Petrides, commenting on the developments regarding the evaluation of the sustainability of the EuroAsia Interconnector project, the electric interconnection project between Cyprus, Greece, and Israel.

Mr. Petrides stated, "The Minister of Energy said that the Eurasia Interconnector will be judged based on its sustainability. Absolutely correct." He then raised the following points for consideration:

1. This is a private initiative without a competition. The government provided political support due to its scope, and as a result, the project secured significant funding from the EU with the condition that the entity would secure the rest. Were investors found? If not, why? Data on investors were requested, but transparency was lacking.

2. An application was made to the EIB for project funding. Was it approved? If not, why? Did they not find the project sustainable?

3. If the government contributes, concerns about competition and state aid arise since there was no competition.

4. Did all the studies submitted to the Ministry of Finance and the EIB in 2022 to assess the project's sustainability undergo technical scrutiny? If the government gets involved, an independent assessment of sustainability is needed.

5. In the case of government involvement, the possibility of much cheaper options with the same result should be seriously examined. For example: 1. Investment in energy storage and network resilience, 2. Interconnection with a cable from Saudi Arabia to Greece. Have these options been studied?

6. State guarantees automatically affect public debt and finances. They should not be granted to entities uninterested in project sustainability, as they are secured by state guarantees. Approval should also go through Parliament. The EIB approves only sustainable projects.

7. What changed along the way that transformed this into a discussion of state involvement with significant risks?

8. What caused the delays?

9. In the event that the government becomes involved with such high guarantees, as revealed publicly, and the project does not materialize, the damage to public finances would be insurmountable.

10. Full transparency is essential.

Cyprus  |  government  |  EU  |  questions  |  risks

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