By Spiros Sideris – Athens
The appointment of former MEP Giogos Chatzimarkakis as the new Ambassador-at-Large, was announced after today’s meeting between him and the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Referring to Chatzimarkakis, Venizelos spoke of a “highly experienced European politician, who has had an impressive run in German politics, representing Germany for years in the European Parliament, and now operates in the greek public life”.
Venizelos even noted that: “Mr. Chatzimarkakis had the courage, a few days ago, to respond to the invitation of the government for the commitment of all national resources, now that we are struggling to finish the adjustment program, leave the memorandum, the crisis and the troika, and to move on to another phase, now that there are very serious problems and challenges in the field of foreign and security policy and defence”.
The minister added that he was greatly impressed from this stance and that in this context he proposed to him to be involved in this effort formally, within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the capacity of Ambassador-at-Large, since with his experience and acquaintances he can help the country in matters of European strategy at bilateral and multilateral level, with emphasis of course on development and economy issues.
Indeed, Venizelos added that he has already signed the Draft Decree, which submitted he for signing to the President of the Republic, for the appointment of Chatzimarkakis as Ambassador-at-Large, based in Athens and added: “Mr. Chatzimarkakis is ready to take on all necessary missions abroad under my instructions and in cooperation with the authorities and the authorities of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
He concluded: “I am pleased to acquire this additional capacity in our foreign policy, because Mr. Chatzimarkakis can contribute to the national issues and I thank him in advance for his involvement.”
On his part, Chatzimarkakis argued that “in the critical period of the exit from the memorandum, Greece needs to grow its alliances in Europe”, to add that “this is the hour of continuous negotiation in Europe at all levels”. He concluded: “This time, I take the responsibility to utilise for my country, the knowledge, experiences and contacts I have gained over the last 20 years in Brussels and Germany. I begin a path of responsibility for the country. As every Greek, I feel proud of it. I promise only hard work”.