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Kleisoura, Greece

23 June 2014

Ms Georgia is an experienced journalist in Athens, working for the Action 24 TV channel. Her family and relatives live in Kleisoura, a village near the last major Greek town before TAP crosses the Greek-Albanian border. Ms Georgia has followed the project’s progress for years and is aware of its benefits as well as its challenges. So when concerns started to be raised at the local community level about possible health, safety and livelihood issues associated with the project, she did what comes naturally to a professional reporter and contacted TAP to ask the questions that had been brought to her attention.

“Local communities had heard horror stories about the pipeline exploding, that houses would collapse because of vibrations and that TAP was a faceless conglomerate that would walk all over local plans to build a new theatre in the area,” says Ms Georgia. “As a journalist, I was aware that things weren’t so, but the community was deeply sceptical. So I asked TAP to come speak to us and to explain the project. And they did.”

TAP’s team spoke on the phone to many individuals, and followed through with visits to the town to give an open-house presentation and answer concerns, provide information on the land easement and acquisition process, as well as technical details of the project. The regional Mayor and communal presidents were also part of the engagement talks, with many issues, such as the opening of a local cadastral (land registration) office and a re-routing of the pipeline discussed and resolved amicably.The technical team visited Kleisoura to discuss the project’s plans with the President and citizens of the village. And finally, the rerouting was approved.

“We didn’t expect such nice, professional behaviour and actions from such a big project, to be honest,” says Ms Georgia. “Our concerns were treated with seriousness, there was personal interaction, and we were spoken to as equals.” Such behaviour is part of TAP’s core values and integral to how the project continues to conduct its activities.