The attraction of investment and the EU’s future are the issues on the Greek government’s agenda and the starting point for this effort are the visits by French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni to Greece in September.
With the German elections as a milestone at the end of September, both Macron and Gentiloni hope that they will have formed both separately and in co-operation under the umbrella of the “Alliance of the South,” a new narrative for the future of the EU.
In particular, the French President, wishing to overcome the Hollande presidency’s “embarrassment” on the EU’s Gallo-German axis, is building alliances and partnerships that are both political and economic.
Prior to his arrival in Greece, Emmanuel Macron will have visited Austria, Romania and Bulgaria. In Austria, an important partner to Germany, he will have the opportunity to form a picture of the EU’s narrative in the North while also presenting his own narrative for the EU’s future.
Romania and Bulgaria, two peripheral EU countries, but primarily attractive for investments by French enterprises, are indissolubly linked to Greece, the last stop of Macron’s visits to the region. In both energy and transport, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania will play an important role in the future for the EU.
we should not forget that Bulgaria will preside over the EU from 1 January 2018 and it is a good opportunity for the French President to “penetrate” the agenda of the Bulgarian presidency.
Energy, transport, new technologies, logistics, the primary sector, tourism and education will be the central pillars of Alexis Tsipras’ meetings with both the French President and the Italian Prime Minister. The French company that took over the Port of Thessaloniki, the Italian investment in the Greek railways and the green light given by the Ministry of Energy of areas for research on natural resources in the Ionian and Crete, outline the interest of the two European partners for Greece.
Tsipras will not visit the USA
“Fluidity” on the American political scene was one of the reasons why the Greek Prime Minister will not travel to New York, without it being directly mentioned. According to information from the Maximus Mansion, Alexis Tsipras’ presence at the UN Summit in 2015 was imperative to reassure the international community following the July debt crisis.
In 2016 the immigration issue made Alexis Tsipras’s presence in America fundamental, according to diplomatic sources, as Greece was directly involved for being one of the first refugee and migrant host countries. There is no need for the Prime Minister to go to the United States this year, sources from the Maximus Mansion have told IBNA.
This, of course, does not mean that there will not be a strong Greek presence in the US for the UN General Assembly, as Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias will take part on behalf of the Greek Government.
The Greek Foreign Minister will have a full agenda, according to unconfirmed information, he will have meetings with the US political leadership, the US Foreign Minister, possibly the US Vice-President, the Greek and Cypriot community, where he will be honoured for his efforts in the Cyprus talks, the leadership of the Jewish lobby, entrepreneurs and of course many meetings with his counterparts.
In the scheduling of Nikos Kotzias’ meetings, there are also important trilateral meetings that together with Cyprus will mark the beginning and the continuation of strong partnerships in the wider region./IBNA