Pavlopoulos-Gabriel: “The EU will move forward without the UK”

30 June 2016
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The President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos received the German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel shortly after 12:00 on Thursday. Mr. Gabriel is currently on a two-day official visit in Greece.

As expected, the recent ‘Brexit’ was high up on the agenda, with the Greek President and German Vice Chancellor agreeing that the British people’s verdict is respected, but the UK must now ratify the referendum result and most forward with the departure process.

The Greek President argued that Europe and the European Union will carry on without the UK and stressed that everyone who believes in Europe will struggle for European integration. What is important, he added, is not how big Europe, but how much better it can become.

Furthermore, the Greek president underlined that Greece remains committed to the European Union and Eurozone, as evident by the many sacrifices made by the Greek people and called for greater implementation of the EU-Turkey agreement. Mr. Pavlopoulos also noted that European must stand in solidarity with Turkey, following the recent terror attack.

In concluding, Mr. Pavlopoulos commented that Europe must rethink its roots and stressed that although the economy is important, it must serve man, rather than man serving the economy.

In response the German Vice Chancellor explained that Europe is going through a difficult time and support is necessary. He stated that the UK’s departure process must be pushed forward, estimating that any delays will be detrimental for both sides.

As for Greece, Mr. Gabriel underlined that the Greek people need hope to carry own and praised the major efforts in recent years. Asked about the refugee crisis, the German Vice Chancellor further commented that Greece assumed huge responsibilities, but European solutions are required.

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