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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-01

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM attends Sofia celebrations

  • [01] FM attends Sofia celebrations

    Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, heading a Greek delegation, on Monday attended ceremonies marking the first day of Bulgaria's formal accession to the European Union.

    "Today is a great day for Bulgaria, for Europe, for Greece. As of today, Greece has European borders," Bakoyannis said after meeting her Bulgarian counterpart Ivaylo Kalfin in the Bulgarian capital.

    The foreign minister referred to Greece's steadfast support, from the beginning, for the neighbouring country's European course and stressed that the two countries will have, in the framework of the EU, "very close cooperation", given that they are located in a "sensitive region" and have "many common interests."

    Kalfin thanked Greece for the assistance it provided to enable Bulgaria to reach this day.

    The meeting was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Yiannis Valynakis, who was accompanying the minister, the director of her diplomatic office Constantine Halastanis and Greece's Ambassador to Sofia Koumanakou.

    Earlier, during the ceremony of the hoisting of the European flag in Aleksandr Nievski Square, the foreign minister had the opportunity of brief meetings with German Foreign Minister Franck-Walter Steinmeyer and her Austrian counterpart Ursula Plassnik. Valynakis also had a brief meeting with the Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kouneva.

    In another development, the newspaper "Trud" published a front-page report on Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis who said in his message that "Greece was a warm and unwavering helper of your goals and pursuits from the beginning of your European undertaking and through all the difficulties that appeared."

    The foreign minister, in her own interview with the newspaper "Standard", "welcomes Bulgaria to the European family and underlines Greece's steadfast support for its European course."

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