Serial rapist Moshe Katsav 311 AP.
(photo credit: AP)
‘Israeli gas gives energy security to EU’ • Amiram Barkat
“The natural gas
discoveries in Israel’s waters can fulfill a positive role in the energy mix of
the EU. They increase Europe’s energy security and can serve as an
alternative to the continent’s current sources of gas supplies,” Greek Deputy
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Ioannis Maniatis told “Globes”
Maniatis’s remarks are a rare public statement by a European
politician. Europe suffers from its dependence on Russian natural gas. Maniatis
is making a business visit to Israel to prepare for next month’s visit by Greek
Prime Minister George Papandreou.
Maniatis met Minister of National
Infrastructures Uzi Landau and Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan
to discuss strengthening collaboration on renewable energy, energy conservation,
and water management.
“Globes” has reported that Israel and Greece are
holding secret talks for the supply of natural gas, probably via an undersea
pipeline from the Leviathan field. Maniatis said that he did not discuss this
issue with Landau and Erdan, but added that Greece wants to become the gateway
to the EU for Mediterranean natural gas. He said that Greece is planning to
build three natural gas pipelines for importing gas from Central
Greece currently imports 70 percent of its natural gas from Russia,
and the rest from Algeria and Central Asia. “Greek use of natural gas is half
the EU average, and we want to close the gap,” said Maniatis.
currently consumes 3.75 billion cubic meters of gas a year, compared with 5.2
billion consumed by Israel.
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Syria to issue offshore gas licenses
Syria wants its share of oil and gas discoveries in the Levant Basin in
the Eastern Mediterranean. Following Israel, Cyprus, and Lebanon, Syria will
publish tenders for four marine oil and gas exploration licenses, reports “Dow
Jones Newswires”. The report is based on comments by Syria’s Minister of
Petroleum and Mineral Resources.
Syria will also grant eight onshore oil
and gas exploration licenses during 2011. The marine tenders are scheduled to be
closed within a month, after the original deadline was pushed back from
September 15, 2010 to February 8, 2011. The onshore licenses cover 74,000 square
kilometers in eastern and northern Syria.
Like Cyprus, Syria’s oil and
gas exploration regime is based on production sharing contracts (PSCs) between
the state and the licensee. The licenses are not based on royalties, as in
Israel.Katsav’s office budget rises by NIS 47K
• Globes’ correspondent
Two weeks before former president Moshe Katsav is due to be sentenced on his
rape convictions, the Knesset Finance Committee on Tuesday increased the 2011
budget for his office by NIS 47,000 to NIS 1,794,000.
Katsav has the
right to maintain an office, located in Ramat Gan, including employees, aides,
and a chauffer for a government car. The government also shares in the cost of
maintaining Katsav’s home in Kiryat Malakhi.
Katsav is also eligible to a
pension equal to 100% of his gross monthly of NIS 46,278. His pension rights
were not affected by his conviction for rape two months ago.
The Tel Aviv
District Court today began hearings on Katsav’s sentencing. The defense is
seeking probation, while the prosecution is demanding jail time. The sentencing
will take place on March 8 – International Woman’s Day.Elbit to buy
remaining Elisra stake
• Globes’ correspondent
Defense electronics company Elbit
said Tuesday that it will buy the 30% of Elisra Electronic
Systems Ltd. that it does not already own.
Elbit will pay $67.5 million
for the stake.
Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., through subsidiary Elta
Systems, owned the 30% stake in Elisra, and Elbit owned the other
Following the acquisition, Elisra will become a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Elbit Systems. Elisra develops information warfare (electronic
warfare, intelligence and C3) systems, and is comprised of Elisra, Tadiran
Electronic Systems Ltd., and Tadiran Spectralink Ltd.
Elbit Systems share
price closed last week at $51.78, to give a market cap of $2.21 billion. Wall
Street was closed Tuesday for Presidents’ Day.
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