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Greece, Saudi Arabia eye fibre optic data cable to link Europe with Asia

·1-min read

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece and Saudi Arabia agreed on Tuesday on the main terms to set up a joint venture to lay a fibre optic data cable that will link Europe with Asia, Greek sources said on Tuesday.

The "East to Med data Corridor", an undersea and land data cable, will be developed by MENA HUB, owned by Saudi Arabia's STC and Greek telecoms and satellite applications company TTSA.

Greece's power utility Public Power Company (PPC) and Cyprus' telecoms operator CYTA, will also hold a stake in the project, pending final corporate approvals, a Greek diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The final closing of the deal is expected by July, for the project to launch in autumn and be completed by the end of 2025, the diplomat said.

Another person close to the deal said the cable, which will connect users from Italy to Singapore, will cost about 800 million euros ($857.68 million).

Greece's conservative government has made digital transformation a priority since taking office in 2019, a year after Greece exited the biggest financial bailout in history.

A big part of about 30 billion euros in grants and cheap loans allocated to Greece from European Union's post-pandemic Recovery Fund will be spent on 5G and fibre optic infrastructure.

($1 = 0.9327 euros)

(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Tomasz Janowski)

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