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Athens News Agency: News in English, 07-12-11

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Gov't on EU Reform Treaty

  • [01] Gov't on EU Reform Treaty

    The European Union Reform Treaty will help the 27-nation Union and Greece, individually, advance, Deputy Foreign Minister Yiannis Valinakis told Parliament on Tuesday.

    "The Reform Treaty takes the EU but also our country, forward. Consultations have been difficult and laborious, but we have waged the battle so as to guarantee issues of particular Greek interest, such as the clause on mutual assistance, reinforcement of external frontiers and special policies supporting our country's interests," Valinakis told Parliament's Foreign and European standing committees joint meeting, which debated the signing of the EU's Reform Treaty by the Union's leaders in Lisbon on Thursday.

    "The final text is a product of a positive compromise. in the framework of which the institutional and substantial reforms and innovations of the Constitutional Treaty are mostly preserved so as to satisfy the positions of the great majority of the EU member-states," Valinakis added.

    Ruling New Democracy (ND) deputies voted for endorsement of the Reform Treaty, while main opposition PASOK deputies voted in favour, with some reservations. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE), the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) and the Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) voted against, demanding, at the same time, the holding of a referendum.

    The deputy foreign minister said the government "moved according to a plan and with a vision" during the EU's consultations "for a stronger Europe."

    Regarding the clause on mutual assistance, Valinakis underlined that "for a country who finds itself in the most sensitive region of the Union ... it (the clause) acquires a particular military, political and diplomatic weight, especially and in the framework of a possible permanent structured cooperation between member-states."

    Responding to opposition criticism on national issues, Valinakis said:

    "We have a vision and a plan in our foreign policy. We know where we want to go. We are a country that believes in a strong EU. But this does not mean that when a serious problem arises, like that of Skopje, our country will not express its disagreement, even if we know that we will be isolated."

    PASOK deputy Panos Beglitis said the government should not hurry to sign the Treaty because "difficult days" are ahead in foreign policy issues.


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