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Immigration: Greece Cannot Be Left Alone

PierreLelouche-Valinakis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The French Minister of State, responsible for European affairs, Pierre Lellouche was welcomed yesterday by deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis in Athens.   The two ministers had the opportunity to discuss a number of issues of European interest ranging from the Lisbon Treaty and immigration to Balkans and Turkey’s candidacy for the EU.   Referring to immigration in particular, Lellouche acknowledged that his visit to Greece helped him realise the true extent of the problem which Greece is facing and stressed that in view of the 150,000 illegal migrants that have entered the country, Greece cannot be left alone to deal with the problem, whether that help consist in prodding Turkey to cooperate or coming up with a coastal protection scheme.  Greek News Agenda: Diplomacy on Migration- Barrot visits Migrant Centres

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Greece: Think Tanks

delfoixrismos3GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  As part of its European seminars, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) organized an international high-level conference entitled: “The Delphic Oracle on Europe: Politics and Policies.”  A group of approximately 40 leading academics, practitioners, and journalists analysed and evaluated the outcome of the 2009 European elections and debated the re-definition of economic governance in the EU in light of the current global crisis. Moreover, they focused on Europe’s global role in a rapidly changing international environment, the perspectives for a “Green Europe,” and the future of the Lisbon Treaty. The conference took place from June 25 until June 28, in Delphi, Greece.

Lisbon Treaty: “Take the Example of Greece”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  maximou1An enthusiastic and hopeful message was conveyed wednesday, july 1st, during Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis’ meeting at Maximos Mansion (photo), with the European Parliament President Hans Gert Pöttering, who is visiting Greece, attending the works of the European Popular Party’s Study Days in Athens.  Karamanlis expressed his gratitude for the outgoing president’s contribution during his long tenure.”[Pottering’s] valuable experience has been the most powerful guarantee for a successful presidency,” Karamanlis said. On his part, Pöttering extended his thanks towards the Greek government and opposition for their support of the Lisbon Treaty. “I am probably the last one since 1979’s first elections. I witnessed Greece entering the European Union in 1981,” he said, adding “countries which have not yet ratified the Lisbon Treaty should look up to Greece and set it as an example.” Reciprocating, Karamanlis stressed that Greece will continue supporting the European Parliament’s initiatives and look forward to the enhancement of the institution’s role.

European Council Convenes

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The European Council opened its two-day proceedings in Brussels yesterday, December 11, with the participation of the heads of state and government of the European Union member states. During the European People’s Party (EPP) Summit, convened to focus on global financial crisis, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis emphasised on Thursday that the European economy is faced with a slowdown that entails consequences for all countries. In statements made after the meeting, he pointed out that a collective response is necessary through the coordination of national strategies and interventions, adding that the priority is to help the most vulnerable social groups and preserve a developmental momentum as much as possible while protecting jobs. The main issues on the Council’s agenda include the financial and economic crisis, EU energy and climate change policy, the Common Agricultural Policy, the Lisbon Treaty, external relations and the European Security and Defence Policy. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: European Council December Summit (Brussels, 11-12 Dec. 2008)

Karamanlis @ EU Summit

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)       Entering a summit of the European People’s Party (EPP), ahead of the European Council summit scheduled (June 19-20), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis described the conjuncture in Europe as “particularly sensitive.” The European Union must prove that it can effectively meet the challenges it faces, especially with regard to the high cost of living affecting all of Europe, Karamanlis noted. The premier referred to his recent letter to European Commission president Manuel Jose Barroso in which he pointed out the need for addressing this problem at the EU summit. Regarding the Lisbon Treaty, Karamanlis also stressed the importance of the ratification process for the shake of Europe and its citizens. Athens News Agency: PM Karamanlis in Brussels for EU summit; EU Council: Press Release Provisional Version (19.6.2008)

Greek Prime Minister Concludes Visit to Austria

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis concluded his working visit in Vienna yesterday, a day earlier from the scheduled arrival due to the powerful earthquake that hit the region of Peloponnese in Greece. Karamanlis was due to stay in Austria to watch the Greek national soccer team’s first match in the EURO 2008 championship against Sweden tonight before returning to Greece. During his three-day visit, Karamanlis met with the Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbaurer, the Vice Chancellor Wilhelm Molterer and the Head of the Austrian People’s Party (OVP) Wolfgang Schüssel. Karamanlis’ agenda included the Greek premier’s suggestion to discuss the repercussions of Europe’s high inflation within the framework of European Council’s meeting (June 19-20) in Brussels. Other items on the premier’s agenda in Austria involved the progress in the ratification process of the Lisbon Treaty, as well as the latest developments on illegal immigration, the name issue of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Cyprus and Turkey’s European prospect. Athens News Agency: Greek PM hastens visit to Austria; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Austria Bilateral Relations