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Athens News Agency: News in English, 10-07-27

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Greece and Bulgaria are 'strategic partners'

  • [01] PM: Greece and Bulgaria are 'strategic partners'

    SOFIA (ANA-MPA - B. Borisov) Prime Minister George Papandreou on Tuesday underlined the huge potential for cooperation between Greece and Bulgaria, in a joint press conference with his Bulgarian counterpart Boyko Borisov after the first joint session of the Greece-Bulgaria High-Level Cooperation Council held in Sofia.

    "Our meeting today deepens and establishes a strategic relationship of partnership between us," Papandreou underlined, while earlier he had referred to a "qualitative leap" in relations between the two countries after Bulgaria's accession to the EU and NATO.

    In the framework of the meeting between ministers of the two governments, Greece and Bulgaria signed a raft of bilateral agreements dealing with various outstanding issues and declaring the two sides willingness to further develop bilateral ties.

    "We are now part of a common region, no longer separated by our borders, while there are huge prospects for our cooperation. Today we made a first approach at overcoming these and possibly for a final solution to a series of outstanding bilateral issues that we had inherited from the past, but also to promote our common goals in new areas: trade transactions, economic cooperation, energy cooperation, cross-border cooperation, employment, defence cooperation and fighting crime," the Greek premier said.

    Papandreou underlined the importance of the agreements signed by the two sides on Tuesday, expressing conviction that this effort was backed by the people of both countries.

    Talks during the meeting also covered the effects of the economic crisis in the region and globally and ways to work together in order to address the problems, while during talks on cooperation in the energy sector, Papandreou underlined that the currently stalled Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline project remained among Greece's top priorities.

    Referring to the talks, he said that renewable energy sources remained a strategic option and that the two sides had agreed to promote the South Stream and TGI natural gas pipelines.

    In his own statements, Borisov repeated Bulgarian concerns about the detrimental environmental impact of the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline and that Bulgaria's decision to back away from the project was prompted by the hope to ensure protection of the Black Sea and the Burgas coast.

    He said the Bulgarian government was now waiting for the findings of an environmental impact study for the pipeline that was due to be completed in October.

    Borisov also expressed hope that, together with Papandreou, the two countries would mark the 130th anniversary since Greece and Bulgaria established diplomatic relations on September 9 by inaugurating a new border crossing on the Greek-Bulgarian border.

    The premier further briefed his Bulgarian counterpart and attending members of the Bulgarian Cabinet on Greece's Stability Program "on the basis of which we have taken drastic measures needed to support our economy".

    Pointing out that Greece had overshot targets for reducing its budget deficit, Papandreou stressed that the positive assessments of the Eurogroup and the finance minister were clear indications that Greece was a reliable country, responsible in terms of its international commitments and once again building its reliable image on a firm basis.

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