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EU Cooperation on Immigration

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  “The problem is not a Greek problem, it is a European problem, because if one illegally enters Greece one also illegally enters the EU and the Netherlands,” said the Netherlands’ Deputy Justice Minister, responsible for immigration issues, Nebahat Albayrak, on Wednesday (May 27) after visiting an illegal immigrants’ reception centre on the eastern Aegean island of Samos.  “Certainly many problems exist, but we also have many possibilities for cooperation, not only on a bilateral basis, but also within the framework of the European Union between member-states,” added the Dutch official who earlier this week had talks in Athens with Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis.

Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Valinakis at Olive Group

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)     yannis-valinakisDeputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis on Tuesday underlined the need for more effective EU policies in the Mediterranean region, pointing out that it was equally important to bring a Mediterranean dimension into European integration. Attending the 6th Informal Meeting of the EU Mediterranean countries “Olive Group” that took place in Taormina, Sicily (15-16.12), the minister stated that the meeting focused on migration issues in the western Balkans and EU enlargement. He underlined there should be a “Mediterranean neighbourhood” to face the problems together and join forces to create opportunities that “will protect us during a crisis and at the same time produce long-term benefits.” The Olive group consists of Italy, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Slovenia. Greek News Agenda: The Olive Group; Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus: 5th Informal Meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Mediterranean EU Member-States, Concluding Remarks 

Greece at the 7th Asia-Europe Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM Summit) held in Beijing (October 24-25) concluded its proceedings. Greece was represented at the summit by Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis. Following the conclusion of the proceedings, Valinakis stressed that the 7th ASEM Summit mostly dealt with the need for national reservations to be put aside in order for the global financial crisis to be addressed, via international cooperation, and that introversion and protectionism can only have negative consequences. The minister also mentioned the Global Financial Crisis Summit to be held in Washington on November 15, where the European Union is expected to suggest rules on the free market’s smoother operation. “We believe in the market economy, but it has its limits and we have to define these limits.”  The meeting also touched upon the environment and climate change. Greece’s position is that there will have to be steps forward on these issues, including steps to make optimum use of renewable sources of energy.  Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Conclusion of 7th ASEM Summit (Beijing);  See also: Secretariat General of Information: About Greece – Environmental Protection & About Brand Greece – Environmental Strategic Policies 

Greece-South America Ties

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis is visiting Argentina and Peru, to participate at the 5th EU/Latin America – Caribbean (LAC) Lima Summit on May 16 and 17.
During his stay in Argentina, Valinakis will have consultations with Foreign Minister Jorge Taiana and his counterpart Victorio Tacetti. An economic cooperation agreement will be signed between Greece and   Argentina. The minister will later visit Peru to represent Greece at the 5th EU-LAC Lima Summit. On the sidelines of the summit, Valinakis will hold meetings with Costa Rica Foreign Minister Bruno Stango Ugarte, his Peruvian counterpart Gonzalo Gutierrez Reinel, with the First Vice President and Foreign Minister of Panama Samuel Lewis Navarro, with El Salvador Foreign Minister Marisol Argueta de Barillas, during which a memorandum of understanding will be signed between the foreign ministries of Greece and El Salvador, as well as a memorandum for economic cooperation between the two countries.

Athens News Agency: Valinakis in S. America; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Foreign Policy – Latin America – Caribbean