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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-09-29

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Greek, Lithuanian PMs on bilateral relations

  • [01] Greek, Lithuanian PMs on bilateral relations

    Prime minister Costas Karamanlis met on Monday with his visiting Lithuanian counterpart Gediminas Kirkilas.

    Replying to press questions on the international crisis and the margins of market liberalization, and on whether the efficiency and functionality of the economic model followed by the EU needed to be reassessed, Karamanlis stressed that the European economic and social model was founded on two pylons: a mixed economy and a social state.

    Karamanlis said that despite the fact that the combination of the role of the state and the market differed among the European states, the state's regulatory role was significant in Europe.

    He further noted that the European social model differed than that of the US and other countries, and provided the European citizens with effective but also greater security.

    The prime minister added that conclusions could be reached from every experience, so as to continue improving the function of the European societies and economies.

    At fiscal level, Europe had a stricter regulatory framework than the US, Karamanlis stressed, adding that what was needed, and has been decided by the European Council, was better coordination and enhancement of transparency in the European credit system, in order to avert problems such as those that have arisen in the US.

    "We must always keep in mind that in conjunctures such as the present, and in the framework of the fiscal abilities of each country, we must advance the necessary developmental initiatives and support our financially weaker compatriots," Karamanlis said.

    During the meeting, the two prime ministers discussed bilateral issues and cooperation prospects in all sectors, with the focus on commerce, investments and tourism.

    Karamanlis said that he and Kirkilas had particularly discussed the challenges in the energy sector, and focused on matters of energy security, alternative energy forces, and the problems arising from climate change.

    He said they had agreed that coordination and cooperation among the European partners were necessary prerequisites in order to meet the serious challenges being faced today in that sector.

    Karamanlis said that they further discussed the prospects for implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, given that close cooperation between Greece and Lithuania was anticipated as they held consecutive places in the rotation list of the EU presidency (Lithuania is slated to hold the six-month EU presidency in the first half of 2013, with Greece taking over for the second half of that year).

    The Greek prime minister added that they had also exchanged views on EU enlargement and the European good neighborhood policy, noting that "we aspire to achieving a mutually beneficial, efficient and balanced cooperation between the EU and its neighbors, which requires a more balanced approach between the EU neighborhood policy's southern and eastern dimensions, without overlapping of the individual initiatives".

    The two premiers also discussed the situation in the Caucasus and developments in the western Balkans, while Karamanlis briefed his Lithuanian counterpart on developments in the FYROM name issue and the Cyprus issue.

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