The road opens for oil and natural gas drilling

Exploratory wells in Katakolo by 2016, in Ioannina and the Gulf of Patras by 2017

The first contracts for exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas reserves in Katakolos, Ioannina and the Gulf of Patras were signed yesterday between the state and large conglomerates. The exploitable reserves in these three areas is estimated to be at least 300 million barrels. With the signing of the contracts – which must be authorized by parliament, the three groups commit to investing 60 million euros which, depending on the results, may reach 800 million euros. The first exploratory wells will be completed in Katakolos by 2016 followed by wells in Ioannina and the Gulf of Patras by 2017. “We are creating a new market. In reality we are creating a new sector in the national economy,” the Environment Minister Giannis Maniatis said. The next significant goal of the government is to lease the drilling rights in the Ionian Sea and off the coast of Crete. Expectations are high given that high levels of initial interest expressed by large international firms. All that remains for the announcement of the tenders is for the plots to be divided.




Fear of the polls ‘protects’ the coast

A government reversal following the outcry

The white flag raised by the government over the controversial shoreline bill is a misdirection according to environmental organisations who denounce the invitation to dialogue as superficial without transparency and with pre-selected organisations invited to partake in it. There is also silence over the revelation by ‘Eleftherotypia’ that the bill will open the way for Lamda Development [who won the contract for the development of the former site of the airport at Hellinikon] to extend the shoreline along the Hellinikon coast with earthworks. ‘The most valuable portion of public land is being sacrificed,’ according to the Chamber of the Environment and Sustainability.


Draghi to use his weapon!

Plans to inject liquidity in the markets immediately following the European elections

A green light also from the stern Germans of Bundesbank
Standard and Poor’s upgrades ratings for Greek banks

The President of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, is to take drastic measures to stimulate economic growth and combat deflation. The Germans bite the bullet and say they will support the measures.


Lost in translation over the Grexit and Debate

Only Alexis Tsipras sees the ‘bluff’ from the USA and Europe

Stunning revelations from the former US Treasury Secretary TImothy Geithner over Schauble's plan for Greece to return to the drachma in the summer of 2012.

The president of SYRIZA insists on sticking with the theory of a global conspiracy over the supposed exit from the eurozone, while he chooses a translator for the debate with Schulz and Juncker [for the presidency of the European Commission].

New revelation from the Financial Times: Brussels had planned in June of 2012 a ‘Plan Z’ for Greece to leave the eurozone.


Ratings upgrade for Greek Banks

The capacity for borrowing has improved and dangers have been reduced

The ratings of the four Greek ‘systemic’ banks, Alpha Bank, Piraeus Bank, the National Bank of Greece and Eurobank was upgraded yesterday by the ratings house Standard and Poor’s to CCC+ from CCC, with a ‘stable’ outlook. According to the announcement by the agency the decision comes as the banks access to credit has been improved thanks to the liquidity offered by the European Authority, the completion of the capital share increase and the reduction in risks thanks to the steady stabilization of the Greek economy. The agency also stated that the weakened economy and the high cost of borrowing continue to restrict the profitability of the Greek banks. However the risk of a further worsening of the situation is abating thanks to the increasing stability in the Greek economy.