IT for social justice

first_imgSometimes technology isn’t just about making things faster, easier, or cheaper. Sometimes it’s about making them right.That was the thrust of the eighth annual Harvard IT Summit at Sanders Theatre on Thursday. Rather than focusing on the promise or problems of innovations in information technology, they focused on the impact technology has on its users.Specifically, keynote speakers Iris Bohnet, the Roy E. Larsen Professor of Public Policy and director of the Kennedy School’s Women and Public Policy Program, and Michael J. Sandel, the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Government, looked at how IT — and IT professionals — can contribute to a more diverse, just, and civil world.Michael Sandel (left) and Anne Margulies speak before her welcoming remarks to open the summit. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer“We know, intuitively, that diversity matters,” said Bohnet, the author of “What Works? Gender Equality by Design.” Noting the need to better understand and control for biases that contribute to gender inequality in talent recruitment and development, she asked, “How can we design diversity, inclusion, and belonging in our meetings, on our screens, and in our classrooms?”Bohnet said the first step is understanding how deeply bias is ingrained in all of us. Using examples of visual patterns in which we “see” what we expect to find and citing the Columbia business school case that showed that venture capitalist Heidi Roizen was perceived as both more likable and more employable when she was called “Howard” Roizen, Bohnet challenged the audience to acknowledge the pervasiveness of such prejudices. Moving onto advances such as blind auditions, in which orchestras evaluate potential new members from behind a curtain, she showed how thwarting expectations can produce more equitable results.“This is what it is going to take,” she said, noting that the percentage of female musicians in top U.S. orchestras has increased approximately 30 percent since 1970, when the new audition processes were instituted. “We have to go into our systems and de-bias our procedures,” Bohnet said.,Bohnet said that so-called “diversity training” does not work, but there are many other ways to replicate this symphonic success. Intentionally avoiding gendered language in employment ads, for example, helps those doing the hiring “benefit from 100 percent of the talent pool.” Comparing applicants to each other, rather than to an imagined ideal candidate who likely conforms to a preconceived notion of gender and race, also reduces bias.Bohnet said that more tech startups are now working on applications designed to help equalize hiring and promotion, and asked the assembled professionals to consider working on such technologies themselves. “You all, with your amazing expertise and knowledge, can help us make our research accessible to the world in a way that is useful,” she said.Sandel, whose course “Justice” is one of the most famous taught at Harvard College, briefly revisited the 2005 breakthrough that made that course the first Harvard offering to be freely available online. He said the course was initially conceived as a public television offering, with the web component merely an afterthought.“We were astonished that tens of millions of people wanted to watch lectures on philosophy,” he recalled. “And people didn’t just listen, they debated with one another.  People around the world were interested in listening together, in arguing together. I wanted to push further.”Sandel showed the audience a clip of an interactive, global discussion on the merits of free speech. Using 60 television monitors, participants from Canada to Iran exchanged at times heated, but always polite arguments, while Sandel moderated.,Sandel said the clip highlighted technology’s potential to bring people together to further civil discourse. He also pointed to the very real limitations of social media platforms that may be contributing to its breakdown. Acknowledging that lack of moderation may allow discussions to descend into “invective and obscenity,” he said he believes that the general anonymity of most online discussions — the lack of faces and real human voices — is also a factor in lowering the level of discourse. Giving participants faces as well as voices, he believes, can help make such discussions inclusive rather than abusive.“Listening can be hurt by prejudice,” Sandel said. “But it can be deepened and enriched by a human presence that is missing if there’s anonymity.”Professor of Sociology Rakesh Khurana, Danoff Dean of Harvard College and Martin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School, the afternoon keynote speaker, addressed the important role of inclusion and belonging in the academic experience.“This year we had the most diverse student body in the history of Harvard,” he said, citing Harvard’s commitment to attracting the broadest possible pool of talented students, along with need-blind admissions and a strong financial aid program. But he added that diversity is not enough — Harvard also must foster an inclusive environment where everyone can bring their “full selves” to the pursuit of excellence.“It is unusual for a company or organization to be at the top of their game for 40 years, never mind 400,” he said. “Our capacity to adapt is both our biggest challenge and our biggest opportunity.”last_img read more

ND to host summer creative writing program in Ireland

first_imgNotre Dame undergraduate students now have the option to take a three-credit creative writing workshop in Ireland through a summer program sponsored by both the creative writing program and Notre Dame International. Running from July 17 to Aug. 7, students will spend one week in the city of Dublin and two weeks at Kylemore Abbey in Connemara, County Galway, professor of English Valerie Sayers said. Catherine Owers | The Observer Students participating in a new summer study abroad program sponsored by the English department in Ireland will spend a week at Kylemore Abbey, pictured.“One thing we want all our students to think about is not just their place in American literature, but also their place in world literature, and where better to start than Ireland?” Sayers said.  Valerie Sayers said the course was the brainchild of Barry McCrea, professor of Irish studies, English and Romance languages, and Lisa Caulfield, director of the Notre Dame academic center at Kylemore Abbey. Sayers and Joyelle McSweeney, director of the creative program within the department of English, will teach the course. Guest authors Alice McDermott and Kevin Barry will also participate in the course. Sayers said she and McSweeney will collaborate on the classes and teach two separate sections of the class. “Students in both sections will have the opportunity to work on whatever genre interests them. We know we’ll be doing prose, and a lot of it, because that’s where the majority of interest lies,” she said. “We’re also both open to and will create some opportunities for people to think about the overlap between fiction and nonfiction, between prose and poetry, and even, if people are interested, drama, which is the great Irish genre.  “I think we’re both excited to teach that way, too,” Sayers said. “In the program here, though we encourage a lot of inter-genre work in the graduate program, just for practical reasons the undergraduate curriculum is set up as prose or poetry. And this is one of these rare opportunities to mix it up.” Sayers said writers of all levels of experience are invited to enroll in the course. The course will fulfill the University and College of Arts and Letters fine arts requirement, and for English majors it will count as a standard major elective and will also fulfill one of the four required courses for the Creative Writing concentration.“Non-English majors are more than welcome. In fact, they always provide a great contrast and complement to English majors,” she said. “One thing we like about the design of this course is that it is open to all levels. … There’s maybe an initial shyness from people who have never written before, but it dissipates so quickly when you realize that every time you write, you are a beginner because you are learning how to create a new manuscript. Every single time is a beginning time — that is one of the things I’m most excited about.”Sayers said the dual locations of the course will make for a “richer experience, particularly for students who are going to Ireland for the first time and have not had a chance to experience the rest of Ireland.”For the first week in Dublin, Sayers said, students will have the chance to absorb the literary traditions of the city, as well as see theatre productions and hear live music.“Dublin is one of my favorite cities in the world, and the literary vibe there is intense and infectious,” she said. “I think by contrast, the time at Kylemore, which by its nature will be very contemplative and very meditative, will make for a really rich, full experience, both of writing and of culture.”The course will be designed to provide a multitude of stimuli for students while giving them the opportunity to pursue their own projects. Both in Dublin and at Kylemore, Sayers said, the course will link “the practice of walking and the kind of opening up of the language centers that walking provides.”“We’re going to be doing lots of exercises around place, both architectural space and Kylemore Abbey itself will be a fabulous architectural space to explore, but absolutely once we’re in Connemara, we’ll be thinking about nature,” she said.  “We’re still working on course texts and things like that, but we’re trying to include some writing that thinks about both nature and ecology, and our moment in climate time.” Sayers said the program is designed for accommodate 20 Notre Dame students and 10 Irish university students. “Because this is the first year, those would be ideal target numbers for the life of the program, but it’s entirely likely that we’ll be a smaller group going over the first time,” she said. More information regarding the course and the potential to apply for financial aid will be available to students at an information session Wednesday at 11 a.m. in 320 Malloy Hall. Applications for the course are due Feb. 26. Tags: creative writing program, English Department, Ireland, Notre Dame Internationallast_img read more

Odds & Ends: Sierra Boggess’ Sense & Sensibility & More

first_img Daniel Radcliffe Sierra Boggess Watch Inishmaan’s Daniel Radcliffe Talk the Problems of Perkiness & Long Hair The Cripple of Inishmann’s Daniel Radcliffe stopped by the ladies (and gentleman!) of The View on June 11 to talk the problems of perkiness, long hair and loving the smell of people from the stage (!). Check out the interview with the adorable five-time Broadway.com Audience Choice Award winner below. Beautiful Picks Up Another Acting Accolade “Happy Days Are Here Again” for the cast of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical! Hot on the heels of Jessie Mueller’s leading actress Tony win for the tuner, the Actors’ Equity Association announced on June 11 that the show will receive the eighth annual “ACCA” Award for Outstanding Broadway Chorus. It is the only industry accolade to honor the contributions made by the original chorus members of a Broadway musical. The winners are: Ashley Blanchet, E. Clayton Cornelious, Josh Davis, Alysha Deslorieux, Kevin Duda, James Harkness, Carly Hughes, Sara King, Rebecca LaChance, Douglas Lyons, Chris Peluso, Gabrielle Reid, Arbender J. Robinson, Rashidra Scott, Sara Sheperd and Melvin Tunstall. Congratulations to all! Here’s a quick roundup of stories you may have missed today. Sierra Boggess & More Starring in Sense & Sensibility the Musical Workshop Stage stars including Phantom’s Sierra Boggess, All the Way’s Robert Petkoff, Josh Grisetti and Charlotte Maltby will appear in an industry reading of the new tuner Sense & Sensibility the Musical on June 12 and June 13 in New York City. The show has a book and lyrics by Jeffrey Haddow, music by Neal Hampton and direction and musical staging by Marcia Milgrom Dodge. The adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic received its world premiere in 2013 at the Denver Center Theatre Company. Star Files View Comments Win a Meeting With Hal Prince & More! Great White Way vet Donna Lynne Champlin (Sweeney Todd, Billy Elliot) has set up Ode to Joy, a national online auction of unique Broadway, film and TV memorabilia to raise funds for her sister-in-law Joy Parker, who is living with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Items up for grabs include a Glee script signed by the entire cast, a one on one meeting with the legendary Hal Prince and Next to Normal music notes from the Pulitzer Prize-winning score signed by composer and lyricist Tom Kitt. You can find out more here.last_img read more

Glowing Germs.

first_imgWould you wash your hands more thoroughly if you could literallysee the germs?Wilkes-Lincoln County Extension Agent Martha Partridge hasbeen putting this question to the test with primary-school childrenin her counties.With the help of a product called GlitterBug, Partridge hasdeveloped an effective way of teaching children the proper wayto wash their hands.In the Schools”In the fall, the schools begin teaching children aboutproper hygiene,” Partridge said. “They asked if I hada program I could present, and that’s how it all began.”That was three years ago when Partridge presented the programfor the first time to preschool, kindergarten and Head Start children.Since then, the success of the program has mushroomed. She nowpresents the program to primary-school children.Glowing Germ LotionPartridge begins by telling the children about the importanceof washing their hands to fight against disease-carrying germs.”Then I pump some of the GlitterBug (TM) potion in eachchild’s hands and tell him to rub it on just like hand lotion,”she said.Once the children have the potion on their hands, Partridgeturns off the room’s traditional lighting and turns on an ultravioletor black light.Ghostly Results”Under the black light, the GlitterBug potion causes theirlittle hands to glow and look like ghost hands,” she said.”The kids and the teachers love this. It’s a big attention-getterand a real eye opener.”Partridge then explains to the children the importance of usingsoap, water and friction to remove germs from their hands. Next,the children head to the sinks for the ultimate tests.The ABCs of Hand-Washing”I tell them not to hurry when washing their hands,”Partridge said. “They understand better when I tell themto count slowly to 20 or 30 while washing their hands or to saytheir ABCs or sing Happy Birthday before they turn off the faucet.”Back in the classroom,Partridge prepares the children for their results.”I tell them that some germs will still be there, andI’m always right,” she said. “I can always pick outthe children who bite their nails, because the GlitterBug potionwill still be in the creases around their fingernails. It alsosticks to the natural creases of all the children’s hands.”Partridge remembers one particular classroom in which the blacklight proved very effective.”The county fair had been the night before, so some ofthe children had stamps on their hands from the ticket gate,”she said. “When I turned on the black light, all those stampsglowed. You could tell which children hadn’t washed their handssince they left the fair the night before.”Children Teaching ParentsThe program reaches the parents, too, as the children rushhome to tell about their day.”I’ve had parents tell me their child came home and taughtthem the right way to wash their hands,” Partridge said.”I’ve also had children tell me, ‘My mama doesn’t do this,and she should.'”Partridge has found the program can also be used effectivelywith adults.”There’s a GlitterBug powder that you dust on handouts,”Partridge said. “When the person touches the handout andthen scratches their face, the powder will show up under the blacklight.”Adult groups are surprised and sometimes embarrassed, she said,when the black light is turned on.”I think the children really enjoy this program, and Ialways get positive evaluations from teachers and parents,”Partridge said.”When I come back to a school, the kids always rememberme from the year before,” she said. “They see me inthe hallway and say, ‘Hey, there’s the germ lady.'”(Photo provided by Martha Partridge. Glitterbug logo providedby Brevis Corporation.)last_img read more

Hicksville Man Charged With Manslaughter in Fatal Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 58-year-old woman was killed when an alleged speeder crashed his vehicle into hers in her hometown of East Meadow on Monday night, Nassau County police said.Justin M. Daley, 28, of Hicksville, was allegedly speeding in his 2003 Nissan Sentra heading eastbound on Hempstead Turnpike when he rear-ended the victim’s Honda at 11:40 p.m., police said.The victim, Ming Deng, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead shortly later.Daley continued driving east on Hempstead Turnpike and eventually came to rest east of Conti Square Boulevard, where he was arrested at the scene and taken to an area hospital. He was being treated for a leg injury, police said.Homicide Squad detectives impounded both vehicles and are continuing the investigation.Daley was charged with second-degree manslaughter, reckless endangerment and reckless driving. He will be arraigned as soon as medically possible, police said.last_img read more

Democrats Have a No-Fly List Problem

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Democrats staged a dramatic sit-in at the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday led by civil rights icon U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) to pressure the Republican majority to hold a vote on a contentious bill that would prevent US citizens on terror watchlists, including the no-fly list, from purchasing a gun.Democrats occupied the chamber for 24 hours, chanting “No bill, no break,” as House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) went about his business, barely acknowledging the Democrats’ protest. Earlier in the day, Ryan, in an interview with CNN, brushed aside the protest as nothing more than a “publicity stunt.”At issue is whether US citizens on secretive terror watchlists should be barred from purchasing firearms. The debate has spawned rather peculiar bedfellows: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Ryan are fierce opponents of any legislation linking controversial lists of suspected—but not accused—“terrorists” with gun control measures, while Democrats and presumptive Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump actually agree on the measure. The only difference between the ACLU’s mindset and Ryan’s, is the ACLU does not believe the Second Amendment is immune from regulation.“In this country, we do not take away people’s constitutional rights without due process,” Ryan said Thursday. “This is not just Republicans saying this. It’s groups like the ACLU who are saying this.”The raucous debate over gun control legislation returned to the fore following the mass slaying in Orlando that killed 49 people at a popular gay nightclub. The shooter, Omar Mateen, was twice investigated by the FBI but never formally charged. He was briefly placed on a terror watchlist but his name was scrubbed after both investigations were subsequently closed.The sit-in, a Civil Rights-era tactic broadcasted on CSPAN via new-school technology in lieu of the traditional C-SPAN feed, also featured speeches from Democrats criticizing their GOP colleagues for failing to act.House Dems emphathically contend that there should be no legal avenue for suspected terrorists to purchase a gun. But civil liberties groups warned that labeling people on such lists as “terrorists” or even “suspected terrorists” is irresponsible given the opacity governing how people are placed on watchlists.“Our nation’s watchlisting system is error-prone and unreliable because it uses vague and overbroad criteria and secret evidence to place individuals on blacklists without a meaningful process to correct government error and clear their names,” the ACLU said in a letter to the U.S. Senate, which voted on but did not pass a similar gun ban.Under the government’s current system, people who believe they were mistakenly placed on the list have no way of ascertaining why their name was included in the first place.After a federal court ruled in June 2014 that the rules in place to challenge inclusion on the no-fly list were unconstitutional, the government said it would tell US citizens whether they’re on the list. In the past, those included on the list only made the discovery after arriving at a US airport.A separate lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights and City University of New York School of Law CLEAR project resulted in four men having their name taken off the list. But the court, on the government’s recommendation, dismissed the lawsuit. Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed the lawsuit against the FBI in 2014, claiming the men were coerced into becoming FBI informants by agents who said they would remove their names from the no-fly list if they agreed to spy on behalf of the government. The four men were all Muslim.“I’m disappointed that I won’t be allowed to have my day in court. Though I can finally travel to see my family, I have missed so many milestones being away and have been treated unfairly,” Awais Sajjad, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit said in a statement after the lawsuit was dismissed. “The FBI agents knew I was desperate and tried to pressure me to become an informant. That shouldn’t go unpunished.”At the time of the suit, one man had gone five years without seeing his wife and three children. Another was stopped from boarding a flight to Pakistan, where he was going to visit his ailing father and elderly grandmother, the suit claimed. Instead he was ushered to a windowless interrogation room. The ACLU sued the Department of Justice, the FBI and the Terrorist Screening Center in June 2010 on behalf of more than a dozen people on the no-fly list. Four years later, seven of the 13 plaintiffs were removed from the government’s database. However, the remaining six were given a summary explaining why they had been placed on the list. Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, in an interview with the independent news oulet Democracy Now, challenged Democrats to pursue gun reform without endangering civil liberties.“What they’re essentially doing is that they’re compromising a fake concept of constitutional rights in gun control, and they’re keeping that strong, and they’re watering down an already bad system which we have, which is the no-fly list,” he said. “People don’t know how they get on the no-fly list…So, if you’re using no-fly list as a proxy for dangerousness, as a way to tell that somebody’s going to be dangerous…it’s not going to work. And we’re essentially solidifying the Republican position against gun control by watering down our constitutional rights to stay free from these type of invasions.”For now, the Democrats will continue to push for legislation barring people on secretive lists from getting access to guns. But by provoking backlash from civil liberties groups, Democrats have provided Ryan with an opening to turn what was a debate about guns into a discussion about the potential harmful effects of limiting a US citizens’ right to due process—a conversation Democrats on any other occasion would be eager to have.last_img read more

Krka National Park signs Agreement on Cooperation on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Management with Huanglong Nature Reserve from China

first_imgHuanglong Nature Reserve from China, Chengudu Institute of Biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and Krka National Park Public Institution signed an Agreement on Cooperation on Environmental Protection and Sustainable Management on June 12, 2018 in China.Back in May 2014, China and Croatia established International Research Center for Environmental Protection which has built an important platform for knowledge exchange and cooperation between the two countries in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development. This agreement is a continuation of the existing cooperation and an opportunity to upgrade knowledge and exchange experiences in nature protection, sustainable management, marketing activities and environmental development, point out the Krka National Park.Huanglong Nature Reserve and Krka National Park, although in different parts of the world, are connected by a similar karst landscape and great biodiversity. They also face common challenges in protecting the vulnerable ecosystem and sustainable development. The signed agreement is an opportunity for various cooperation, academic visits, joint studies and publications, which will contribute to better mutual understanding, sustainable community development, development of institutional mechanisms, further development of the visiting system, but above all biodiversity conservation, environmental monitoring system, scientific research cooperation and exchange of information ” points out the director of NP Krka, mr.sc. Krešimir Šakić.By the way, Huanglong (Chinese: pinyin: Huánglóng, which means Yellow dragon) in Songpan County (Sichuan Province, China), is a landscape that stretches through the southern part of the Minshan Mountains, where the Fujiang River flows through the Danyun Gorge, 150 km northwest of the province’s capital, Chengdu. This picturesque area is best known for the colorful pools of Huanglonggou (Yellow dragon ravine) formed by calcite deposits, but also by a diverse forest ecosystem, snow-capped peaks, such as Xuebaoding (Snow Mountain Peak) which is the easternmost snow peak in China; and waterfalls and thermal springs. That is why 60.000 ha of Huanglong were inscribed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in Asia in 1992.last_img read more

Governor Wolf Signs Eight Bills into Law

first_img October 05, 2016 Bill Signing,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Yesterday, Governor Wolf signed the following bills into law:Act 102 (Toohil) – Amends Title 23 (Domestic Relations), in dissolution of marital status, further providing for grounds for divorce and for decree of court.Act 103 (Keller) – Amends Titles 20 (Decedents, Estates & Fiduciaries) & 57 (Notaries Public), in powers of attorney, further providing for general provisions; &, in revised uniform law on notarial acts, for certificates, powers of attorney.Act 104 (Regan) – Act designating a bridge on a portion of Sheep Bridge Road over I-83, Newberry Township, York County as the Staff Sgt. Jason M. Faley Memorial Bridge.Act 105 (White) – Act designating a portion of State Route 1013 in Philadelphia County as the Michael R. Goodwin, Sr. Memorial Highway.Act 106 (Major) – Act authorizing DGS, to grant and convey to Associate Members of Old Mill Village Museum, Inc., certain lands situate in New Milford Township, Susquehanna County.Act 107 (White) – Amends act entitled “An act creating a board of managers to have exclusive jurisdiction over all houses of detention for the reception of juveniles,” further providing for board of managers.Act 108 (Reschenthaler) – Amends Title 75 (Vehicles), in registration of vehicles, providing for special plates for current members of the armed forces of the United States.Act 109 (Vulakovich) – Amends Title 51 (Military Affairs), in State Veterans’ Commission & Deputy Adjutant General for Veterans’ Affairs, further providing for powers & duties & for Veterans’ Trust Fund; for defs., purpose, eligibility, & appeals.Like Governor Tom Wolf on Facebook: Facebook.com/GovernorWolf Governor Wolf Signs Eight Bills into Lawcenter_img SHARE Email Facebook Twitterlast_img read more

Swiss accounting body warns on pension fund audit quality

first_imgSwitzerland’s federal audit authority has warned about weaknesses in the auditing of the country’s pension funds.It called for pension fund auditors to be placed under its supervision, or to be required to have a special licence.In contrast to the auditors of financial market institutions like banks, pension fund auditors were not subject to ongoing supervision and there were no periodic reviews of the quality of audit services, the Federal Audit Oversight Authority (FAOA) said in its annual report.The FAOA said it could only review audit services where there were grounds for concern, such as in the context of liability proceedings against individuals. However, in such cases it would time and again identify “serious violations” against duty of care, it said. In most cases its intervention was too late and the damage had often already been done.The federal body questioned whether the legal requirements for auditors of pension funds were sufficiently high.Independent oversight was the only way to raise the quality of auditing on a lasting basis, according to the FAOA.The quality of pension fund auditing has been an issue in Switzerland for some time.In 2015, OAK BV, the federal pensions regulator, carried out a comprehensive survey of the quality of audit reports and found a high error rate.In 2016 it issued instructions to improve auditing, including a requirement that lead auditors had at least 50 billable hours of practical auditing experience in occupational pensions per calendar year. In its annual report the FAOA said this guidance went in the right direction, but that the requirements needed to be defined at the level of the law.The Swiss government is currently exploring whether the legal framework for auditing needs to be amended, including considering the need for an ongoing oversight and special licensing regime for pension fund auditors.last_img read more

Snam, Enagás, Fluxys Ink Deals to Acquire Stake in DESFA

first_imgSnam, Enagás and Fluxys have inked agreements to jointly acquire a 66% interest in DESFA, a Greek operator in the natural gas infrastructure sector.The agreements were signed in Athens on July 20 between the European consortium consisting of the three companies, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) and Hellenic Petroleum.Under the terms of the agreements, Snam will acquire 60%, Enagás 20% and Fluxys 20% in the Greek operator.The consortium was awarded in April the tender for the privatization of DESFA on the basis of an offer of EUR 535 million (USD 627 million). Today’s contracts were signed following authorizations received in recent days by the European Commission and the Hellenic Court of Audit.The completion of the transaction is expected by the end of the year, subject to several conditions.DESFA owns and operates a high-pressure transport network of about 1,500 km, as well as an LNG regasification terminal at Revithoussa.Thanks to the support of Snam, Enagás and Fluxys DESFA will be able to fully exploit its strategic position in the Mediterranean. The consortium also intends to promote innovative uses and new sources of natural gas in Greece to further contribute to the sustainable growth of the natural gas market, the economic development of the country and make a contribution to the country’s emission reduction process.The consortium has secured a > 10-year non-recourse acquisition financing corresponding to approximately 65% of the enterprise value. The financing is subject to documentation and closing is expected to occur in the next few weeks.“Snam is ready to work with its partners to accelerate the growth of DESFA and the development of Greece’s infrastructure so that the country can have a key role in the realization of an increasingly integrated, secure and sustainable European energy system, which will benefit Greek and European consumers,” Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, commented.“Being part of this consortium is a unique opportunity for us to contribute our know-how as TSO, together with the Greek expertise, to the security of supply and the energy transition in Europe. Greece is a strategic country for these purposes and its gas infrastructures are key to supporting a decarbonized economy and a progressing true common energy market within Europe. With today’s signing, we are a step closer to this being a reality,” Marcelino Oreja, CEO of Enagás, stated.“Our consortium will be able to transfer technical and operational capabilities to DESFA, to develop new uses of gas such as compressed natural gas for cars, LNG for heavy duty vehicles and ships, and to introduce renewable gasses such as biomethane in order to drastically reduce the country’s emission of both harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases,” Pascal De Buck, managing director and CEO of Fluxys, explained.last_img read more