German FM: “Key” factor the restoration of mutual trust

German FM: “Key” factor the restoration of mutual trust

Athens, October 30, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

The need for trust between Greece – Germany underlined Frank-Walter Steinmeier, recognizing the exaggerations of the past.

The two ministers agreed to give new impetus to the relations between the two countries, with particular focus on the following areas:

  1. Building a new framework for German-Greek partnership.
  2. The quick establishment of the German-Greek Youth Foundation to promote dialogue and exchanges between young people of both countries.
  3. A more close cooperation in the fields of education and science, as well as to the further intensification of already successful cooperation in research.
  4. The creation of common institutions for the transfer of specialised knowledge, inter alia, in the energy and health sectors.

“Mutual trust is something that is necessary in politics and diplomacy and should be the foundation that we urgently need”, Steinmeier noted during the joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Kotzia Nikos.

“I am glad that I have a colleague who knows Germany”, he said about Kotzias and added: “mutual trust is essential for politics and diplomacy, is the foundation we want at this time, amid the economic crisis”.

At the same time, he expressed the respect of Berlin to the efforts of the Greek people. “Greece remains faithful to the agreements, intends to implement what has been agreed at European level. That is what I got from my contacts with the Prime Minister. Whoever signs for reforms knows that the advert effects appear immediately, but results are slower to come. You need perseverance”.

Steinmeier referred to the refugee problem, estimating that its tackling is a challenge for the whole of the EU, even more so than that of the economic crisis.

“This is a Europe-wide challenge that we must meet collectively”, he continued.

Referring to the recent tragedy in the Aegean, the German FM said: “A thank you to Greece. Greece not only recognises its humanitarian responsibilities, it keeps them as well.

“The solution will not be found by one country. European solutions are needed. What is needed is homogenising of perceptions, common understanding of the problems at the borders of Europe. We should see who are the neighbors of the European countries to reach an agreement that will better arrange the refugee flows”, he concluded.

“The refugee crisis will not become a reason for the violation of the Greek sovereignty” Kotzias said and clarified that crucial for dealing with the refugee flows is for the war to stop in Syria, and stressed the importance of recording and identification of refugees in Turkey and there redistribution in Europe, so that human lives are not endangered.

As another key parameter Kotzias mentioned the need for coordination and prosecution of the systems that trade with human souls, which as he said are on the opposite side, where the starting point is, while also stressed the danger of the new wave of 300,000 refugees, who are preparing to leave the camps of Jordan and Lebanon, due to the economic misery in which they are forced to live (with 43 cents a day), resulting in not staying close to their homes.

Kotzias also warned those who have contacts with the Muslim Brotherhood not to play with fire and mentioned the risks for the destabilisation the entire region from a possible disorderly collapse of the Egyptian regime.

The Greek Foreign Minister stressed that Greece suffers from major refugee flows and takes all possible measures with a huge financial cost. In regard with the correlation of the refugee burden and the hard economic program that Greece is being asked to implement,  Kotzias gave the example of the red-loans as opposed to creating housing for 50,000 refugees.

In the afternoon the Foreign Minister accompanied his German counterpart at the Eugenides Foundation, where at 19:00 took place the Award Ceremony of his Honorary Doctorate of the University of Piraeus.