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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-06-15

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From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU summit begins with enlargement and European constitution on the agenda

  • [01] EU summit begins with enlargement and European constitution on the agenda

    The European Union's summit began in Brussels on Thursday focusing mainly on EU enlargement and the process of ratifying the European constitution.

    Discussions between the "25" began with addresses by European Council chairman and Chancellor of Austria Wolfgang Schuessel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, while addresses followed by Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    The Greek side believes that, as regards the discussion on the European constitution, the European leaders are expected to agree on a one-year extension being granted for the 'reflexion' period over its ratification process and relevant decisions to be taken in 2008.

    "It is not the maximum since the EU must function with a specific constitutional treaty which cannot be in the logic of fragmental linking," Greek sources underlined.

    Negotiations on the conclusions plan are underway and the Greek side has made specific proposals. As regards Turkey's compliance in implementing its customs union with the ten new members, the Greek government stresses that "all, prime ministers, foreign ministers and the relevant commissioner state that the response of Turkey will be judged in 2006. It is a steadfast position of the EU."

    A discussion is also taking place at the session on the European prospects of the western Balkan countries which Greece firmly supports.

    "It is important that the message is sent that the countries of the western Balkans have European prospects," the Greek government underlined.

    Karamanlis had a meeting on Thursday afternoon with his Italian counterpart Romano Prodi with whom he discussed, apart from the issues of enlargement and the European constitution, Euromediterranean cooperation. The Greek side supports the promotion of a substantive Euromediterranean cooperation that will handle issues concerning the European south and place particular emphasis on immigration and economic cooperation.

    No detailed discussion was held during the prime minister's meeting in the morning with the European Commission president on the issue of the absorption of funds from the 3rd Community Support Framework, since the services of the Greek finance ministry and the Commission are seeking technical solutions. However, the European Commission helps in the effort to increase possibilities of absorbing the funds.

    At 10 a.m. Greek time on Friday, Premier Karamanlis will meet Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulosat the latter's initiative.

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