© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
17 December, 1997
Greece is the safest springboard for investors in southern and eastern Europe, the Black Sea region and Caucasus, Macedonia-Thrace minister Philippos Petsalnikos told a news conference in New York yesterday.
Thessaloniki, which is often visited by government leaders, has been recognized as a key economic center for the Balkans and for its artistic activities, which gained momentum in 1997 when the city was named cultural capital of Europe, Mr. Petsalnikos said.
Invited by the US State Department and US Information Agency (USIA), Mr. Petsalnikos held talks in Washington with State Department officials on cooperation in southeastern Europe focusing on trade and transport. His ministry has set up a transport secretariat in Thessaloniki.
Mr. Petsalnikos also discussed Greece's ties with its neighbors as part of a new political and economic map emerging in the Balkans during talks with Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Marc Grossman.
Mr. Grossman agreed that Greece had an important role to play in the region, including helping Balkan countries to work together.
"(It is time) Turkey realizes that bilateral problems, such as the Imia issue, should be referred to the International Court of Justice at The Hague," he said.
Mr. Petsalnikos also met World Bank officials on economic prospects afforded by northern Greece, and delivered a lecture at Harvard University on Balkan economic relations.
Source: Athens News Agency