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The Greek Commissioner takes over the immigration portfolio

04 August 2014 / 16:08:44  GRReporter
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New European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who will officially take up his post in November, preferred Athens as the first stop of the tour of the European Union member states.

Juncker met with Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in his office in Maximou residence and then both made ​​statements to the media. During the press conference the two politicians exchanged warm and informal addresses. The Greek Prime Minister emphasised the role played by the Eurogroup former chairman in the management of the Greek and European economic crisis by defining it as "leading". Jean-Claude Juncker in turn called Samaras "a friend and brother," adding that he loves the Greeks and hopes that they will continue to love him.

The new European Commission President stressed that he had supported Greece in two particularly critical moments for its future. "First I had to convince the Greek prime ministers and ministers to lead the country in a new direction of development and then subsequently its partners in Europe that it deserves trust. I fought like a lion for this, the fight was very hard," he said about Greece’s remaining in the euro area and cited an old statement of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, "Plato does not deserve to play in the second division."

"Despite the momentary difficulties and thanks to its impressive efforts, Greece has managed to cope and Europe admires it for being able to impose its desire to act," said Juncker. He added that the purpose of his visit is to thank Antonis Samaras for his support in electing him to head the European Commission on the one hand and to be informed of the issues posed by Greece on the other.

The Greek Prime Minister said in turn that, during the meeting, they discussed the "new era which Greece and the whole of Europe are entering."

"The programme of the new European Commission President reflects our concern, and that of all the countries of the European south in terms of economic development, competitiveness, immigration and employment of young people," said Samaras.

The other topics of discussion included mainly the field of new Greek Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos in view of Greece’s open desire to take over the immigration portfolio. Although he initially refused to directly answer the question as to which sector he will take up, Jean-Claude Juncker added, "You will not be disappointed."

Tags: PoliticsJean-Claude JunckerEuropean CommissionVisitAthensAntonis SamarasMigration issuesDimitris Avramopoulos
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