Athens, December 15, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
Strong message to FYROM and Turkey regarding their accession prospects in the EU has sent from Sofia, where he is on an official visit, the Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
After meeting with his Bulgarian counterpart Rosen Plevneliev, Pavlopoulos said:
“We support the european perspective. But we need to make one thing clear. And I speak of the issue of FYROM: It should be clear that of course we are in favour of the european perspective, but because there are european principles and values, partners who want to join the EU must learn to respect the institutional european acquis and more importantly to respect history. It is not possible to live together and to survive within the EU in terms of counterfeiting of history. They have to realise that.
Referring to Turkey he said: “We are also in favour of Turkey’s european future, if it wants to pursue it. And if of course, it respects the european institutional and political acquis. If it respects for example the international law, customary and written, concerning open issues, which Turkey has with Greece and not the other way around”.
Special reference was made by Pavlopoulos to the Cyprus problem stressing that “regarding the entry of Turkey into the EU, it is clear that it must respect throughout the accession process the international law, written and customary, the european law – particularly the issue of the rule of law and Human Rights”.
Similarly strong was the intervention of the Greek president for the refugee issue. Replying to a question, he said that “for us Greeks, as for the Bulgarian people, the refugee issue is not a question of money. It is a matter of principle. Defending the Man, because this is how our culture and our Democracy is, we must treat the refugees as persons. But to do this requires solidarity within the EU. And solidarity is not always financial solidarity, but solidarity in practice.
“It is inconceivable to have states in the EU area displaying phobic symptoms. States which say that we shouldn’t address this issue jointly. States which come and say that Greece does not guard its borders. What is their demand? Because we are talking about maritime borders.
When they come as refugees and in the way they come without any form of control on the part of Turkey, and what’s more unfortunately after the cooperation of traffickers with the Turkish authorities, which is seriously hampering the position of Turkey, what should Greece do to guard its borders, which are also borders of the European Union? Abandon people to their fate? Let them drown? We say no, absolutely not!
Greece and Bulgaria will not allow the Mediterranean to be turned from the Kingdom of Apollo and Light to the Kingdom of Pluto. The Aegean will never become an area where we will witness the tragedy of corpses of innocent children. We will defend Man.
And some of our partners in the EU need to understand that. Partners, who consider that the centre of gravity of the European Union is not Man, but the euro, and that everything is valued in euros, have no place in the EU. I am stressing that those who have a place in the European Union are those who defend the “Man and Democracy, based on the principles of European Culture”, said the Greek president.
Addressing his Bulgarian counterpart, Pavlopoulos referred to the excellent level of bilateral Greek-Bulgarian relations and to the cooperation to address current major challenges, while at the same time stressed the margins that exist for further strengthening of cooperation between the two countries in the economy and energy sector.