Mitsotakis: Europe has always been there for Greece & Greece has always been here for Europe

27 May 2021
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“Greece’s accession to Europe is now a non-negotiable component of our country’s identity”, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking at the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Communities and the official start of the public debate in the context of of the Conference on the Future of Europe, at the Zappeion Palace.

The event was attended by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, but also senior European officials, such as the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli. Former Prime Ministers were also present.

“From January 1, 1981, Greece finds its place in Europe again, having common interests and goals. With these words, Konstantinos Karamanlis welcomed the accession of Greece to the then European Economic Communities as its 10th member. For the historical leader with the accession of Greece to the EEC, a personal bet was triumphantly fulfilled”, said the Prime Minister, catching the thread of the joint course of Greece and the EU from the beginning.

The decision, he noted, “enriched Europe as well, as it was the first entry of a country in the European South, which had experienced a dictatorial regime. Since then our common journey has been exciting. I do not believe that there is a public sphere that has not benefited in some way from joining the Union. There were certainly moments when the role of the Union was misunderstood, something that also contributed to the manifestation of the crisis of the previous 10 years. Europe is much more than a fund. It is a common concept for life, for the economy and society, which offers rights, but also generates obligations”, the Prime Minister stressed.

“We had an unpleasant break in 2015, when divisive populism prevailed”, Mr. Mitsotakis stated regarding what happened in the first SYRIZA government.

“Today, Greece is a protagonist with credibility and power. Its economy is constantly upgrading. While her moves on the international chessboard bring results everywhere: in the defense of European borders and in the humanitarian contribution to the immigration problem”, he added.

The Prime Minister expressed pride, as together with 8 other leaders, he pioneered the establishment of the Recovery Fund, while he referred to his contribution to the joint supply of vaccines and the issuance of the European Covid Certificate.

“The aim is to respond positively to the invitation of our generation and to make Europe greener, more productive and more just for those who inhabit it. Europe has always been there for Greece, just as Greece is always here for Europe”, he said.

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