The Italians do not want to let Turkey move inside the Libyan EEZ and are actively entering the Mediterranean for their own interests.
New far-right Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, through the energy minister, is taking a clear stand on Turkey’s games in the Mediterranean, declaring that her country will participate in the East Med pipeline.
She has shown her anti-Turkey stance, seeing Turkey’s policy as outdated, understanding Ankara’s plans to control Libya, which was once an Italian colony.
What are the Turkish plans in the Mediterranean that show sympathy with Greek interests
Italy plans to double its national natural gas production to 6 billion cubic meters (bcm) a year from 3 billion cubic meters until now.
This was stated by the Italian Minister of Industry, in a further attempt to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian supplies.
“One of our goals is to develop a plan that will make us less dependent as quickly as possible and then turn us into a Mediterranean energy hub,” Industry Minister Adolfo Urso told Il Messaggero newspaper.
The Italian government will also allow new offshore drilling in the Adriatic, he said.
Echoing the words of Italy’s new prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, who said this week that Rome “has a duty to fully exploit” its offshore gas reserves to diversify energy sources.
The Italian minister said Italy will rely on both existing and new natural gas pipelines for its “energy hub” ambitions, noting that its plans also include Italy’s participation in the East Med pipeline, called Poseidon and belongs to a joint venture between the Greek gas network operator DEPA and the energy group Edison.
Everything is changing in the Eastern Mediterranean not only after the war in Ukraine, but after Turkey’s move to agree with Libya on a joint energy agreement, causing outrage outside of Greece and in Italy.
In this context, Rome proposes that the under construction IGI Poseidon SA pipeline with participation (50% of the Italian company Edison, 50% of the Greek DEPA International Projects) regarding the Greece-Italy route, be connected to the EastMed pipeline, in order to transfer Israeli and Cypriot natural gas to Europe, within the framework of the new EU energy plan, with the blessings of the USA, which is already seriously considering the matter.
We are talking about the 210 km section of the “Poseido” natural gas pipeline, which connects Greece and Italy, and was planned since 2008, foreseeing a total investment of 6 billion dollars.
The East Med-Poseidon pipeline, with a total length of 1,900 kilometers, can transport up to 12 billion cubic meters per year, and later a maximum of 20 billion cubic meters, will consist of an offshore line of about 210 kilometers crossing the Ionian Sea to Italy and Otranto.
The development phase has been completed and the project is ready for the construction phase, having received all the necessary environmental permits in both Italy and Greece.
As long as Greeks, Italians, Israelis, Cypriots agree on something that the US is expected to approve, then it is estimated that this pipeline is likely to be implemented in the coming years.
What we keep stressing is that this is not a simple project, but a pipeline of crucial importance to the EU, which will be guarded by a joint air force 24 hours a day, and the Turks know this very well.
As for Turkey, it is estimated that things are still murky and the “neighbors” will try to react strongly in the Mediterranean, but the giant companies and the White House will have the final say.