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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-01-16

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Karamanlis: 'The Eu is open to all those who adopt its rules'

  • [01] PM Karamanlis: 'The Eu is open to all those who adopt its rules'

    Greece's prime minister Costas Karamanlis is visiting Belgrade on Tuesday in the context of a tour of SE Europe countries. He will meet with Serbian president Boris Tadic in the morning, followed by a meeting with prime minister Voijslav Kostunica.

    Prime Minister Karamanlis on Monday stressed that Slovenia serves as an example for all the countries aspiring to join the Union and wishing to "share with us the benefits of European integration".

    Addressing an event in Ljubljana celebrating Slovenia's entrance into the euro-zone, Karamanlis, noted that Slovenia's case is an "example that clearly demonstrates that our Union is open to all those that adopt its rules and fulfil all the conditions and criteria (for membership)."

    Karamanlis arrived in the Slovenian capital early Monday afternoon -- following his official visit to neighbouring Croatia -- to attend celebratory events commemorating the country's highly prized entrance into the euro-zone, as the one-time former Yugoslav republic on Jan. 1, 2007 became the 13th member-state to introduce the single European currency.

    Karamanlis joined European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel -- whose country currently holds the EU presidency -- and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet, among others, at a reception hosted by Slovenian Premier Janez Jansa. Slovenia's euro-zone membership also coincided with the 15th anniversary of the country's independence.

    "This development (Slovenia's euro-zone entry) sends a message that continuing European integration is more attractive than ever. It is a very significant message in the current junction vis-?-vis the blueprint for the European edifice, whereas it is also a positive message of confidence in the European economy and currency," he said in his address.

    The Greek PM also stressed that Slovenia serves as an example for all the countries aspiring to join the Union and wishing to "share with us the benefits of European integration".

    Karamanlis, in fact, indirectly touched on neighbouring Turkey's increasingly complicated EU course, as he noted that Slovenia's case is an "example that clearly demonstrates that our Union is open to all those that adopt its rules and fulfil all the conditions and criteria (for membership)."

    Finally, Karamanlis congratulated the Slovenian people and leadership over the country's historic membership in the euro-zone, reminding that Athens vigorously backed the country's accession as the 13th euro-zone member.

    The country of two million introduced the euro on Jan. 1, becoming the first of the 10 countries to join the bloc two years ago that satisfied economic criteria needed to join the euro zone.

    Karamanlis heaps praise on Croatia's Euro-Atlantic progress, meets with PM Sanader

    Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Monday reiterated Greece's support for Croatia's Euro-Atlantic course, after a meeting in Zagreb with Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.

    Karamanlis, who arrived in Zagreb on Sunday night on the first leg of a visit to Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia, said bilateral political relations between Greece and Croatia were excellent, while calling for additional efforts so that bilateral trade ties reach the excellent level of political relations.

    Croatia, Karamanlis said, was ahead of western Balkan countries in the course towards incorporation into Euro-Atlantic institutions.

    Greece, he added, stood at the side of Croatia on its road to European Union accession, and considered "significant" the progress and reforms that Croatia has made in order to complete its accession negotiations.

    With respect to the membership criteria for joining NATO, Karamanlis said Croatia has made substantial progress, adding that Greece looks forward to the prospect of an invitation being extended to Croatia during the next NATO summit in 2008.

    He also said that he and Sanader discussed developments in the Balkans, with a particular emphasis on Kosovo, noting that Croatia's role was acquiring particular importance at this time, as it currently chaired the SE Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP).

    "Looking back on Croatia's 15-year course, from its establishment during the turbulent period of the break-up of Yugoslavia to the present, which finds Croatia on the threshold of the European Union, I cannot but express my admiration and congratulations for the progress accomplished," Karamanlis said.

    Sanader, in turn, said Greece was a firm supporter of Croatia's Euro-Atlantic prospects, and that premier Karamanlis had committed himself to backing Croatia for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.

    Sanader also said he accepted an invitation by Karamanlis to visit Greece in the first half of 2008, stressing that he would be accompanied by entrepreneurs on that visit.

    Finally, the Croatian prime minister further stressed to Karamanlis that his country will complete preparations for joining the EU and NATO by the end of 2008.

    Karamanlis later met with Croatian president Stjepe Mesic, while afterwards he addressed a panegyric meeting of the Croatian cabinet marking the 15th anniversary of the country‚s independence.


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