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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Economy Minister Macron to EuroFora: Egypt-Israel-Cyprus' Gas + East-MED Pipeline= Big Chance

French Economy Minister Macron to EuroFora: Egypt-Israel-Cyprus' Gas + East-MED Pipeline= Big Chance

Written by ACM
Friday, 04 September 2015
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*Strasbourg/Palace of Congres+Music (PMC)/Angelo Marcopolo/- After the Latest Giant Gas Field Findings by Italian ENI at Egypt's Sea area, near Cyprus' and Israel's own recent Discoveries and searches, the Project of East-MED Pipeline able to Transport those New Energy Resources Directly towards the entire EU, appears as a "Big Chance" for "all" Countries involved and EU's Energy Supplies, stressed in substance the French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, in reply to relevant Questions raised by "EuroFora", at the conclusion of a Press Point with Strasbourg's Journalists on the occasion of the Inauguration of 2015 EuroFair earlier Today.

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    Egypt's, Israel's and EU Member Cyprus' recently emeging Energy Gas Findings, at South-Eastern Mediterranean Sea, as Close to Europe and able to be Grouped for Direct Transport to EU Countries, could obviously Help Boost much needed  Economic Growth, if the EU seized that Opportunity Fast enough, i.e. with the "Agility" of  which spoke earlier Today  Macron, (See Infra).

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    + Topically, this was said in an Exceptionaly Important, Relevant Context : I.e. At the Eve of Macron's Visits to Italy and Israel, from Tomorrow Saturday until Tuesday (6 - 9 September 2015), where he is due to meet Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, from the Neighbouring Big EU Country whose Oil/Gas Company "ENI" has anounced the Discovery of a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt's Territorial Waters last Sunday (30 August 2015), as well as German Chancelor Angie Merkel's Economic Adviser Lars-Henrik Röller, etc., followed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Ministers of Economy and Energy , Arye Deri and Yuval Steinitz, respectively, but alo an important Israeli Investor, with big Experience in Oil/Gas/Electric Energy matters, included in Peace Negotiations with Neighouring Arab Countries, Yossi Vardi, (See Infra).

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    - "You are absolutely Right !", Emmanuel Macron positively responded from the outset to "EuroFora"s initial mention of the Fact that the recent Gas "Energy" Findings in Egypt, Israel and Cyprus could Benefit "the Economy and the Industry" of both the immediately concerned Countries, as well as of France and all the European Union.

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    Even more Interesting appeared the French Economy Minister's subsequent Statement in Reply to follow-up Question by "EuroFora", specifically Focusing also on the "East-MED" Gas Pipeline project, whose Study was recently funded by EU Commission, in order to bring the South-Eastern areas New Energy Findings directly into the EU :


    -  "I think that it's a Great Opportunity !", Macron sharply observed in this point, which concerns even more directly France, whose TOTAL Oil/Gas Company has a Bloc in Cyprus' EEZ exactly adjacent to that of Italian ENI, who has just Discouvzered a Giant Gas Field at Neighbouring Egypt.


    - And that goes "For All" Countries involved, (i.e. Egypt, Israel and Cyprus, as Future Profucers, added particularly to Italy but also Greece, as main Pipeline Transit EU Member Countries, etc, as well as most probably France (Comp. Supra, and naturally Germany (as main Industrial European Country), and the rest of EU), he pointed out in Addition.

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    - Indeed, "Today, I am present, here, at Strasbourg's EuroFair, for the Economy and Growth : We must all become Sentinels of Growth", he also stressed at this occasion, (while Energy findings are naturaly one of the Key Factors able to Boost Growth).


    + For that purpose, "We (France and all the EU) must be Quick and Ready to Seize New Opportunities", Macron underlined a few minutes earlier in Strasbourg, speaking, as a matter of General Principle, Just a Few Days after Italian Company "ENI" anounced, last Sunday, August 30, that it had succeeed to find a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt, which could become one of the Biggest in the World.


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    => Significantly, it's later this Afternoon, a few Hours after his brief but Topical and Substantial exchange with "EuroFora" around Noon, that the French Economy Minister's Office has just Anounced that, right in the Middle of his forthcoming 3 Days Visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, he scheduled to have a Long Meeting with the Israeli Minister for Energy and Infrastructures, Yuval Steinitz, during almost 1 Hour, in Jerusalem, on Monday afternoon.


    Meanwhile, immediately after the Official Announcement by ENI of its latest Discoevry of a "Giant" Gas Field in Egypt's Deep Sea, last Sunday, August 30, Macron visited Germany for coordination, and afterwards met with Israel's Ambassador to Paris, on Monday, August 31.


    + Today, his Office also anounced that he will meet and participate in collective events organized on Tuesday, September 9,  together with experienced Israeli High-Tech, Web and Energy Investor Yossi Vardi, who is Now Co-Chair of the Israel - EU Strategic Business Dialogue, won the "Innovation Leadership" Medal awarded by the European Alliance for Innovation, worked as former 1st Director General at the Ministry of Energy, Board Member of Israel's Electric Corporation, Chairman of Oil Explorations Concessions Council and of the National Oil Company, Board Member of Oil Refineries Ltd,  co-Founder of Alon Oil, (etc), and reportedly Headed Economic Negotiations with Jordan, served on Israel - Syria Talks, helped Discover Oil Fields in the Gulf of Suez, advised the World Bank and the U.N. Development Program on Energy and Development,  and led Negotiations on the Oil part in the Peace Agreement with Egypt.


    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanuahu had already proposed a Pioneer Idea for a possible Transport of Energy from Israel and EU Member Cyprus to the rest of Europe by Transforming Gas Findings into Electricity, transmissible via an UnderSea Cable, during an Official Visit at Nicosia, as early as since 2011.


    On 2014, a First TriPartite Summit between Egypt, Greece and Cyprus, focusing on Energy Findings and Transport, as well as Security, etc. was organized in Cairo, bringing Together the Egyptian President Abdel Al-Sissi, (f) Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, who adopted and Signed a Joint Strategy Plan. A similar move is being planned, in parallel, between those 3 Countries also with Israel.

 

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    Italian ENI's latest Gas Findings in Egypt's EEZ, as anounced last Sunday (Comp. Supra), point at a "Giant" Field, the Biggest in the Mediterranean Sea, and one of the Biggest in the World, nick-named "Zohr", which could hold up to 30 Trillion Cybic Feet of Gas. Added to Israel's earlier "Leviathan" and "Tamar" OffShore Gas Fields, (22 + 10 Tcf, respectively), as well as to Cyprus' previous Finding, at the"Aphrodite" Field, of an estimated 4,5 Tcf of Gas, the current overall Off Shore Potential of the 3 Neighbouring Countries reached, this Week, More than 66,5 TcF in Total !


    + And that's Not all : ENI's latset, "Giant" Discovery in Egypt's "Zohr" Field lays at the "Shorouk" Exploration Block, which is Strikingly Near (in fact almost Entirely Adjacent !) to Cyprus' own Block "No 11", interestingly located Between the Egyptian and Israeli Big "Zohr" and "Leviathan" Gas Findings, as well as close to Cyprus' earlier "Aphrodite" Gas Finding, (See relevant MAPs).... In consequence, it clearly seems now as Highly Probable, if not apparently certain, that Cyprus' Exploration "Block No 11", located Right in the Middle, Between the Egyptian and Israeli Mega-Findings, should also have some very Interesting Gas resources' Findings to make soon...

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    Indeed, a strange Suspence concerning that "Block 11" at Cyprus' EEZ (the Closer to Egypt's latest Gas Findings) must now come to an End : It's the French Company "TOTAL" which has got the Exploration Rights in that Block, shortly after "EuroFora"s co-Founder had Spoken about France's possible presence in the emerging South-Eastern Mediterranean Sea Gas Hub Findings with its f. CEO, the experienced Christophe de Margerie, as early as on January 2011, during a Reception at the French Presidential Palace "Elysée" in Paris, with Margerie himself, who had responded to our question Positively, anouncing that he "Knew" that "Gas Findings" were emerging in Cyprus' EEZ, and, therefiore, "France will be present" there, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/killedmargeriekeyforrussiaandcyprusenergy.html). Something which started to become reality, in practice, shortly afterwards, TOTAL getting a Licence from the Cypriot Government, Beginning Explorations and making some Preliminary Findings.

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    But, suddenly, less than 1 Year ago, on October 2014, Margerie was ... Brutally Killed, at an Unprecedented and not yet fully Elucidated Air Crash, when his Private Jet's take off, at a Moscow Airport in Russia, was curiously Obstructed by a Maintenance Truck, resulting in a Violent Breakdown and Explosion, which left all Passengers, Pilote included, atrocioudly Dead, in a Strange Violent Incident, on which, Russian and French Investigations are reportedly still Pending, (despite the Arrest of some subalterne agents and the Firing of that Airport's Manager by the Russian Authorities, shocked by such a Drama, shortly after a meeting of Prime Minister Medvedev with Margerie, who was traditionaly a Strong Supporter of Franco-Russian Economic Cooperation, despite the controversial "Sanctions" imposed in the Exceptional Context of the Political Crisis in Ukraine).


    Astonishingly, shortly after Margerie's Killing, the New TOTAL's CEO has anounced that it would "Suspend" its Exploration at Cyprus' Block 11, despite some Initial Gas Findings, that it estimated as Economicaly "Insufficient", at least for the Time being, and taking into account the Oil Prices at that moment, (which were then Lower than Now). Even more Curiously, TOTAL reportedly asked, nevertheless, to examine the possibility to take also another Exclusive Licence for Gas Exploration also of anOther Block in Cyprus' EEZ, over the SeaMount "Eratosthenes"...


    + Moreover, Today, the recent Gas Findings at Israel and Egypt's EEZ ("Leviathan" and "Zhor", respectively), in Blocks which practicaly "Surround" the above mentioned Cyprus EEZ's Block 11 (Comp. Supra), in addition to the pre-existent Cyprus "Aphrodite" initial Gasz Finding, which is also adjacent to that Same Area, should naturaly Re-Launch Now the Interest for a full and comprehensive Exploration of French TOTAL's Block 11 are, (given also the Additional Fact that even the Guiding Oil Prices have, meanwhile, notoriously Risen at Levels which are notably Superior to what they were Last Year : Comp. Supra). The Contrary would be obviously very Suprising, in Today's Context.


    ++ Additionaly, the Fact that most Companies active in that Areas are almost the Same, (f.ex. USA's "Noble Energy" for Cyprus' "Aphrodite" Gas Findings and Israel's "Leviathan" Gas Field, or Italy's "ENI", present both in Egypt, at "Shorouk"'s latest Giant Gas Finding, and in Cyprus, f.ex. at Block 9), naturaly Faciltates things for a possible Joint Operation on the Strategic issue of the Choice of the way(s) to Transport their Gas Findings Directly into Europe.


    +++ Even the Precise Location of ENI's latest "Giant" Gas Finding in Egypt is Helpful for that purpose, since the "Zohr" Field stands Far Away from the Egyptian Coast (+ 200 Km !), but almost at the Same Area as  Cyprus' "Aphrodite" and Israel's "Leviathan" Gas Fields.

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    => Thus, just a Month ago, on July 2015, EU Commission anounced its Decision to Fund a Study on the proposed "East-MED" Pipeline project, which offers to Join Together, at an OffShore Gas Liquification Platform, (close to EU Member Cyprus's "Aphrodite" initial Findings), in order to  Transport all the 3 Countries' Future surplus Gas Energy Production Directly towards Europe, through EU Members Greece and Italy, etc (See relevant MAPs).


    Now, with Total Gas Findings in that area already Culminating at above 66,5 Trillion Cubic feets, and probably reaching soon at more than 70 Tfc, (Comp. Supra), while, in parallel, the Economic Climate seems reportedly much Better Today than 1 Year before, (as French Economy Minister Macron observed earlier in Strasbourg), obviously, the Natural Move in order to Help Boost  Growth in the EU is to Timely Seize that Opportunity and Start Building Fast the proposed East-MED Strategic Pipeline, currently the only able to Transport New Energy Supplies DIRECTLY towards Europe, without obliging at all to, previously, Transit through any Other, Foreign Third Country, i.e. Avoiding, ipso facto, the Otherwise Inevitable Risks of Conflicts, (as, f.ex. through Turkey, with the ISIL and/or Kurdish Conflicts, in addition to Seismic Risks, or, at a lesser level, via Ukraine, as long as the Eastern "Autonomist" Regions' Conflict with Kiev has not yet reached a Final Agreed Solution, etc).

 

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    Naturally, the emerging South-Eastern Gas Rasources could also Start to be Produced and Transported Directly to the European Continent, in various Other Ways, (as some MAPs with Diferend Timelines, clearly show), even Before the possible construction of an East-MED Pipeline, simply by adequate merchant Ships, that f.ex. EU Members Cyprus and Greece notoriously have a lot, while both France and Italy, but also Spain, etc., already dispose of several Big Mediterranean Infrastructures with Gas Deliquification equipments, etc.

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    For all those reasons, French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron's current Visits to Italy and Israel seem, indeed, Timely, particularly in order to Help boost Growth through better and New Energy Supplies in the foreseable Future, if such rare

(../..)

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(NDLR : Fast Translation from the Original in French. + "DraftNews", as already send to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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