The Greek Prime Minister ha been asked to take on two fronts. Apart from the domestic front with its everyday life problems, like economy and development, there is the front of forging Greece’s international image, through international and bilateral co-operations.
It is in this context, that of Greece’s international image, that a series of meetings were held between the Prime Minister and his ministers and colleagues. According to IBNA information, Alexis Tsipras had a joint meeting with Energy Ministers George Stathakis, Economy and Development Minister Dimitris Papadimitriou, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs George Katrougalos and Deputy Minister of Economy and Development Stergios Pitsiorlas.
The French President Emmanuel Macron’s official visit to Athens on September 7-8, the 1st Senior Cooperation Council of Greece, to be held on the island of Corfu on September 14th and the EU – Arab World Summit to be held in Athens in November were all discussed during the meeting.
The Macron visit marks the excellent relations between Greece and France just days before the German elections and a month before the Euro-Mediterranean Conference to be held in Cyprus in October.
The bilateral relations between Greece and France are historically and traditionally very close. France provided vital support to Greece in the restoration of democracy in 1974, and it also played an important role in the negotiations that led to the accession of Greece to the EEC in 1981.
In addition, France has systematically expressed its support for Greece as far as the economic crisis is concerned, not only at the declaratory level, but also during meetings of the relevant European institutions. France’s support is, moreover, not independent of the principles that link the two countries to a strong Europe based on solidarity, growth, employment and security.
President Hollande’s visits to Athens, starting in February 2013, restarted Greek-French relations, forming a new agenda with a broad convergence of views.
It seems that the the new President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron will follow the Tsipras – Hollande co-operation bond. With significant but not substantive differences in their policies, Tsipras and Macron have a wide range of collaborations to process. Investments, trade, culture, cultural relations, tourism, public administration, but also military cooperation and the future of the EU are vital issues for both leaders.
The First High-Level Cooperation Council between Greece and Italy is also of importance. A few days after the Macron visit to Athens Paolo Gentilioni will head the Italian mission to visit Corfu on September 14th. The Italian Prime Minister developed special relations with Greece during his term as Minister of Foreign Affairs, having worked very well with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias.
According to IBNA information during the Summit bilateral co-operation in the fields of energy, migration, culture and education and defense cooperation will b discussed. The Southern Alliance and the future of the EU will be at the top of the Paolo Gentiloni and Alexis Tsipras meeting agenda. However the two leaders will also discuss regional developments in the wider Mediterranean region and on the global political arena.
The activating of the Greek government’s bilateral relations at an EU level is aimed at shaping a new agenda that will be of concern to a United Europe in the coming period, as everyone is waiting for the German elections and the new poltical landscape that will take shape./ΙΒΝΑ