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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 14-01-15

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM Samaras: European unity main priority of Greek EU presidency

  • [01] PM Samaras: European unity main priority of Greek EU presidency

    Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, presenting the priorities of Greece's EU presidency at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday, spoke of the unity of Europe and "the common wish of all people in Europe to proceed to integration".

    Referring to the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament as the "soul, the mind, and the muscular system of Europe," Samaras said that although they had not always been in harmony. "We need a larger and better Europe," he said.

    Greece is committed to supporting the integration and collaboration of Europe, he said, adding that "We want a strong and responsible Europarliament."

    "I'm speaking at a very critical point. The European Union was tried, in terms of its cohesion and in its currency. Serious construction deficits became obvious, but the crisis is now being overcome. Europe has seen its mistakes and is trying to overcome them. We must complete the changes and take them further."

    Referring to Greece, Samaras stressed that "My country was tried, as no other country in the European Union has been ever tried, and it survived...We delivered."

    At May's Europarliamentary elections, which coincide with Greece's completion of the EU presidency, Europeans must not vote in bitterness but with the hope that the crisis can be overcome, he said.

    Speaking of Greece's success in financial terms, he made special mention of the primary surplus achieved for the first time in 2013, while he said Greece expected to enter recovery in 2014 after six years of recession.

    Greece was tried because of the mistakes made that were continued for decades, said Samaras said in his address at the European Parliament on Wednesday.

    Presenting Greece's priorities as EU president, Samaras said that Greece was tried because of structural deficits in the EU and by mistakes made during the planning of the first fiscal adjustment programme, such as the mathematical factoring used which underestimated recession. "Greece survived and is now overcoming its problems, entering the path of fiscal halth and revival," he said.

    "Greece kept its commitments and honored its word - in other words, we delivered. Failure is not to fall down, failure is not getting up again," he noted, adding that " when you fall, you must get up again with faith and your head held high; that is success. I am proud that my country, with sacrifices by its people, is once again on its feet."

    Greece "has covered great distances, but we still have a lot to do," the prime minister said, pointing out that now "Greece has the largest restructural primary budget deficit in Europe and the eurozone."

    We have proven all doomsayers wrong - Greece showed it can succeed and has become a symbol for the resilience of Europe, Samaras in his address.

    Presenting the Greek EU presidency's priorities, Samaras said that "Greece showed it can do it. Greece has become the symbol that Europe endures, that Europe is going on, and that it can."

    Giving a brief outline of Greece's agenda, the prime minister stressed the need to focus on growth and employment, by setting the strategy for the 2014-2010 period, and improving the growth rates of specific sectors like transportation, energy, shipping and tourism. The European market must complete its integration, foreign trade supported, the euro currency strengthened and the banking union completed, among others.

    The issue of illegal migration must also be dealt with by a comprehensive plan including solidarity, border protection, a fairer share of responsibility among EU member-states, and measures to return migrants to their countries. Fighting human trafficking is necessary, he said.

    Greece also wants to revive the Union's sea transportation, and find new ways to cover needs in security and energy, including taking advantage of seabed sources. Strategic partnerships must be strengthtened sot that the region provides stability, peace and growth, reflecting our principles and values, he added.

    Concluding his speech with remarks in English, Samaras said, "As a political nation, as a single market, Europe is a super power of a global vision."

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