Review by Christos T. Panagopoulos –
The speaker of the Greek parliament, Evangelos Meimarakis, said yesterday in Bucharest that his country considers that Romania met all its obligations in view of the Schengen accession and will have the same position also when it will hold the presidency of the EU.
“We affirmed that Romania met all its obligations necessary in order to be integrated in the Schengen zone and we stay firm on the same idea, the same position and we will have precisely the same opinion during our presidency,” the Greek official answered a question about the position of Greece regarding Romania’s accession to Schengen.
The speaker of the Greek parliament made this statement after a meeting with the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Valeriu Zgonea. He said that the relations between Romania and Greece are excellent and he is honoured to be at the Palace of the Parliament, which he called “this temple of democracy.” “Because we have common themes, ideas, principles we should discuss together, within institutions, also Euro-Atlantic ones, so we solve all problems,” Meimarakis added.
He also said that, as long as Greece will hold the presidency of the EU, it will affirm that parliaments must have a more active policy with respect to defining European policies. “We, as parliaments, are called upon to have a more active policy with regard to defining European policies, not just to approve certain decisions made at European level,” Meimarakis noted. He assured Romania of enjoying total support in relation to its presidency of the Parliamentary Assembly of Balkan States.
In his turn, Valeriu Zgonea mentioned that Romania supports the agenda of Greece during its presidency of the EU and the Parliament of Romania will support all the initiatives taken by the Parliament of Greece. “Romania supports the agenda of Greece during the presidency of the EU and I promised to the speaker of the Greek Parliament that the Parliament of Romania will provide support to all the initiatives during that interval,” Zgonea stated. He added that national parliaments must have a more important role in public debates and their speakers must have annual meetings.
Zgonea also mentioned that the speaker of the Greek legislative promised support for holding the first Parliamentary Assembly of Balkan States, while Romania, Greece and Bulgaria must have an important role in this construction as European states, for the welfare of Balkan citizens. “As a sign of respect for the Hellenic ethnic community of Romania, under our high patronage next year we will host the International Olympiad of neo-Greek Language here, in the Parliament of Romania, in H2 of 2014. I told the president that the Romanian state grants the Greek language the same respect it grants to all the foreign languages which our pupils want to learn. Each child from the public education system of Romania may choose learning this language,” Zgonea assured.
During his visit at the Palace of the Parliament, the speaker of the Greek Parliament also met the speaker of the Romanian Senate, Crin Antonescu. “The history of the relations between our nations, between our countries [Romania and Greece], between our Parliaments is so rich, that every time we meet, be it in your country, here, or anywhere else in the world, it is actually a meeting between friends. We, at least those of the political environment, of all the parties, watch with friendly interest everything that goes on in Greece, we watch what goes on with all of us in the European Union. I would like to reassure you of our entire appreciation, solidarity and of the will to develop, on a parliamentary level in the first place, because this is our job, the relations between us,” Crin Antonescu said, in the beginning of the meeting.
Source: Nine o’clock