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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-10-03

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

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

CONTENTS

  • [01] PM Samaras satisfied with meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

  • [01] PM Samaras satisfied with meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

    ANA-MPA -- Prime Minister Antonis Samaras appeared satisfied with the outcome of his meeting with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday afternoon (local time) at the White House, during which he briefed Biden on the country's entire economic situation.

    The Greek premier highlighted the Greek people's sacrifices as well as achievements, such as the projected primary surplus and the structural reforms and the restructuring of the banking system.

    In the context of strengthening Greece's effort towards economic growth, the U.S. Secretary of Commerce is expected to pay a forthcoming visit to the country along with a mission of businessmen wishing to make investments in Greece.

    Samaras' discussion with Biden also touched upon wider regional affairs, noting that Greece is now a stability factor in an unstable environment. "Greece is a bastion of stability in the region," a government source noted, adding that "this is what we drew from contacts with businessmen and politicians and this is what we wish to reinforce."

    The two men also talked about illegal immigration, as the U.S. government has invited a group of high-ranking Greek officers involved with border control and illegal immigration to provide them with training and equipment. Samaras pointed out that the specific problem has taken major dimensions as illegal immigration numbers almost equal the number of the country's unemployed. An equivalent in the U.S. would be as if the county had 40 million illegal immigrants more than those already in the country. He stressed that the EU does have a single position on this matter. Samaras even handed Biden a file prepared on the issue by Greece's Public Order minister Nikos Dendias.

    As far as energy issues are concerned, the Greek premier expounded on the potential for exploitation of natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. The two men also discussed next week's visit to Athens by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as trade issues and the U.S. government's wish to promote the Transatlantic trade agreement between the U.S. and European Union, especially as Greece will hold the EU presidency in the first half of next year.

    Samaras and Biden also referred to the Cyprus problem and the initiative undertaken by Cyprus President Nikos Anastasiades aimed at lifting the deadlock in negotiations.


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