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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-02-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Papoulias to begin Bulgaria, Romania visits

  • [01] Papoulias to begin Bulgaria, Romania visits

    With the accession of the Balkan states Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union, in addition to older member Greece, a "nucleus" of Balkan states was forming in the EU that could have added clout in Community decision-making, along the lines of the three Baltic states Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia, President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias said in an interview to the Bulgarian press that was published in Bulgaria on Sunday.

    Papoulias is scheduled to carry out an official visit to Bulgaria that starts on Monday. The interview appeared in a special supplement of the Bulgarian newspaper "Trud" dedicated to the visit.

    He said that Greece, Bulgaria and Romania could work together on various plans and European programmes, jointly promoting developmental projects in the energy sector and other areas. He predicted that the area's 'special weight' would increase further with the addition of other Balkan states into the Community.

    On the more controversial issues of EU accession by Turkey, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Kosovo, Papoulias underlined that Greece wanted to see Turkey and FYROM eventually join the EU, while on Kosovo he stressed that a solution must be found that guarantees the rights of all the residents and minorities that live there.

    "We want to some day see Turkey a member of the EU. Both we and you have common borders and we want those borders to be European, so that we do not have problems with out neighbours," he said.

    Regarding FYROM, however, he said that certain problems had to be resolved first and noted that the interim agreement signed by Skopje provides that the final agreement will satisfy both FYROM and Greece.

    He also stressed that a solution found in Kosovo had to be just, so as to avoid new tensions and a new flare-up of violence in southeastern Europe, which cost all sides so much and benefited no one.

    According to Papoulias, the damages suffered by Greece as a result of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia were estimated to be somewhere in the region of three billion euros.

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