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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-10-16

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] FM's interview with Belgrade newspaper

  • [01] FM's interview with Belgrade newspaper

    Greece, in the UN-mediated negotiations with Skopje on the FYROM name issue, has displayed a spirit of good will and a frank desire for a mutually acceptable solution to be found, Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis said in an interview with the Belgrade newspaper Vecernje Novosti, appearing in Thursday's edition, adding that unfortunately Skope has not acted in the same manner.

    Bakoyannis said that the new package of ideas proposed by the UN secretary general's special envoy on the name issue was being "examined seriously" by the Greek side, but added that the "first messages arriving from Skopje are not encouraging".

    She reaffirmed that Greece will continue to work for a solution of the name issue, and called on the FYROM political leadership to "abandon its intransigent stance and work for a common European and Euro-Atlantic future".

    To a question on Serbia's European prospect, Bakoyannis noted that Greece supports Serbia's European integration, adding that the progress in its cooperation with the Hague Court, the course of reforms and the Serbian leadership's pro-European policy constituted encouraging messages, and day-by-day were bringing Serbia closer to Europe.

    On bilateral relations, Bakoyannis said that the Greeks and Serbs shared special bonds, understood each other, and historically have always had excellent relations.

    She further expressed her respect for Serb president Boris Tadic and foreign minister Vuk Jeremic, with whom she said she had a close and frank cooperation.

    The Greek foreign minister further referred to the future of the Balkans, explaining that the Balkans' European prospect was "the key to stability".

    She said it was necessary for the Balkans to shed their "powderkeg" stigma, adding that brave efforts were being made in that direction, and expressed hope that the entire South East Europe would soon join the "European family".

    Turning to the global financial crisis, Bakoyannis opined that there were two options for overcoming it. "We can choose to retreat into narrow national frameworks and withdraw into ourselves, having limited abilities of facing the challenges, or we can unite our strength with the other European countries and jointly find practical solutions to exit the crisis", she said, adding that Greece backs the initiatives of the European Union.

    Bakoyannis conceded that the road to exit from the global financial crisis was a "long and painful" one, but expressed hope that the EU's plan of action would bring positive results.

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