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Greece backs Austrian opposition to UK's Hinkley nuclear plant

Greece backs Austrian opposition to UK's Hinkley nuclear plant 

By Sara Stefanini 

PoliticoPro, 2015-11-03

Greece has thrown its support behind Austria's challenge of the U.K.'s state aid for the Hinkley nuclear power project, saying nuclear poses risks that go beyond national borders.

Greek Environment and Energy Minister Panos Skourletis met Austria's ambassador to Greece, Andrea Ikic-Böhm, in Athens Monday to discuss their mutual opposition to the Hinkley Point C project.

Both agree that EU members have the right to choose their own energy mixes, theGreek ministry said.

However, "that right must be examined in relation to the general risks involved in the operation of nuclear power stations, which transcend the geographical boundaries within which they operate such facilities," it said. Greece does not have its own nuclear power plants.

Austria filed a case in the European Court of Justice in early July challenging the European Commission's approval of the state aid for the Hinkley Point C reactor, with Luxembourg's support.

The U.K. has agreed to provide French project operator EDF and its Chinese partners with subsidies if wholesale electricity prices fall below a certain level. Austria and Luxembourg argue this scheme should be reserved for renewables.

The companies are expected to finalize the Hinkley financing package within weeks. They expect the project to cost ?18 billion and be complete by 2025.