Greece – Respect and Solidarity
Μεγέθυνση εικόνας Ο Ομοσπονδιακός Υπουργός Εξωτερικών Γκίντο Βέστερβελλε υποδέχεται τον Έλληνα Υπουργό Εξωτερικών κύριο Σταύρο Λαμπρινίδη (6.7.2011) (© dpa/picture alliance) A mere few days ago, the Greek parliament approved a comprehensive set of austerity measures, paving the way for more international financial assistance. Reforms in the euro area also set the tone of the talks between Foreign Minister Westerwelle and his Greek counterpart Stavros Lambrinidis on 6 July.
Foreign Minister Westerwelle commended the reform programme launched by the Greek Government as “a decisive step forward” and expressed his appreciation for the great efforts undertaken by the country: “We are well aware of the burden the Greek people have to shoulder every day to make the reforms a success.”
Solidarity and Responsibility
Just as Greece may continue to rely on the solidarity of its EU partners, “we know we, too, can rely on Greece’s sense of responsibility.” It was thus in Europe’s and Germany’s own interest to stand by the Greeks, for only so would the Greek economy return to stability and growth.
Lambrinidis thanked Westerwelle for recognizing the efforts Greece was making and reassured him that the country was about to take even more drastic measures.
In favour of a European rating agency
With regard to the international financial markets, Westerwelle expressed his support for the establishment of an independent European rating agency. “There are too many competing interests, and too many developments taking too little account of Europe’s real economic prospects,” he said.
Both Westerwelle and Lambrinidis highlighted the traditionally good relations between Germany and Greece, marked according to Westerwelle by “friendly ties and the greatest respect”.
Lambrinidis, who took up office about two weeks ago, travelled to Germany on his first official journey as Foreign Minister following a visit to Cyprus. According to Lambrinidis, this was another sign of “how close we are”.
Other issues discussed at the meeting were the situation in North Africa and Turkey’s prospect of EU accession.