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Papandreou on Greek foreign policy issues

25. January 2011. | 08:19

Source: ANA

Prime Minister George Papandreou underlined on Monday that Greece already has enough problems to deal with, "and there is no need to fabricate new, non-existent ones."

Prime Minister George Papandreou underlined on Monday that Greece already has enough problems to deal with, "and there is no need to fabricate new, non-existent ones."

Addressing Parliament during an off-the-agenda debate requested by the main opposition New Democracy (ND) party, Papandreou added that the country's foreign policy "should unite all Greeks."

"The (economic) crisis obliges us to think in a very different manner. It is not time for feigned opposition, to create internal enemies with mythical scenarios alleging conspiracies. What we need is to present ourselves firmly united, in order to build a new Greece, one inspired by a new patriotism," he said, adding:

"And the Greek people, united and showing an unprecedented maturity and determination are waging a day-to-day battle ... Citizens have understood what went wrong and they know that they have a government that is doing its duty, namely, everything in its power," the prime minister stressed.

Additionally, Papandreou underlined that his government, through its efforts to ensure that the country regain its reliability in the fiscal sector, "has managed to keep national issues out of the sphere of Greece's depreciation. This climate should not be undermined by non-existent spectres and chimeras ... Patriotism means to prevent your country from reaching the point where it stands today," he said.

Papandreou expressed his displeasure over what he called "pre-emptive criticism" regarding his recent visit to Turkey, reiterating that he has no problem addressing any kind of audience and in any circumstances since, as he said, "if you speak the truth you fear nothing." He was referring to his address to the Turkish diplomatic corps in the NE Turkish city of Erzurum earlier this month.

"We told Turkey that we are for peace, but war threats or violations of our national sovereignty have no place in the European Union. It is a useless practice, which secures no advantage for Turkey. The status quo in the Aegean does not change and our pilots stand, as always, ready," the prime minister noted.

"Turkey's future is in Europe but the road is not easy. In a few months we gave a new impetus to Greek-Turkish relations. We have signed 22 agreements. We will continue on the same path," he noted.

"The government's policy is to delimitate the maritime zones with all neighbouring countries and, of course, there remains the complex issue of the continental shelf, which we must handle with determination," Papandreou said.

Regarding the Cyprus issue, the premier said the idea by Turkey and by the Turkish Cypriot leadership for a loose confederation "is not viable, but divisive and not functional." "We support the efforts made by (Cyprus) President (Demetris) Christofias. The other side is trying to lead the process to a deadlock in order to provoke a solution imposed from the outside. But the international community and the EU will not legalise the occupation of Cyprus."

Regarding recent riots in Tirana, Papandreou invited all sides to show self-restraint.


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