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PM George Papandreou at the World Economic Forum

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Speaking as part of a panel – that also included Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet – at the annual World Economic Forum taking place in Davos, Switzerland (January 27 -31), Prime Minister George Papandreou said that Greece would not leave the euro area and would use the discipline of membership to slash its budget deficit and make long-delayed structural economic reforms. “The answer is very simple. We went [to the market] for borrowing two days ago and we were five times oversubscribed. We’re not looking for money from anywhere else…” said Papandreou. He outlined an ambitious goal to reduce the deficit by four points this year and bring it below 3% by 2012, through measures taken as part of Greece’s Stability and Growth Programme (SGP)
The premier held a meeting with EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Joaquin Almunia yesterday, and the discussion focused on Greece’s SGP in light of the report that the European Commission will be submitting on February 3, on Greece. 
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso – speaking in Brussels on Thursday – stressed the need for the greater coordination of economic policies in the EU, emphasising that economic policies are not only a national issue, but European as well. Referring to Greece specifically, he expressed the conviction that the Greek government must be supported in its effort to fulfil its commitments in the framework of the SGP. 
See world reports – BBC.co.uk: Davos 2010: Greece denies a bail-out is needed; Reuters.com: Greece says being targeted as euro zone “weak link”
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Greece – Spain: Ties that Bind

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis and his visiting Spanish counterpart Jose Luis Zapatero yesterday called for the creation of a common European Union coast guard to curb illegal immigration but stressed that the EU should not become a fortress against would-be migrants. “Dealing with illegal immigration is not an issue that concerns only the coastal member-states of the European Union, given that illegal migrants can move freely throughout the EU,” Karamanlis pointed out, while outlining a drive to create a European system for monitoring borders and a European patrol network. Furthermore, the two leaders agreed that a very effective way to minimize immigration flows is to increase aid towards migrants’ countries of origin in order to boost development. Other issues on the agenda included the creation of a Mediterranean Union, climate change, rising prices in Europe, renewable energy issues and bilateral economic relations. Kathimerini daily: Spain and Greece unite on migrants; Athens News Agency: Karamanlis, Zapatero discuss migration, energy issues; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Bilateral Relations Greece-Spain 

Spanish Eyes in Greece

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis is scheduled to meet with Spain’s Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero today, who is on an official visit to Greece. Talks are expected to focus on the creation of a Mediterranean Union. First proposed by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the union would bring together European Union states and countries washed by the Mediterranean Sea, including Turkey. Other topics on the agenda include the future of the EU and regional cooperation as well as bilateral ties. Zapatero, accompanied by his wife Sonsoles Espinosa, visited the site of the Parthenon yesterday. Kathimerini daily: A Mediterranean Union Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greece-Spain bilateral relations;  Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greek Mediterranean Policy; The Bridge magazine, Sarkozy’s Mediterranean, A dream or an implementable agenda?