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02 October, 1999
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, due in Athens on Monday for talks with Prime Minister Costas Simitis, has expressed Germany's full support for Greece's efforts to make entry to European economic and monetary union in 2001. Mr. Schroeder's support is carried in a special section on Greek-German relations printed in the Athens German-language paper Athener Zeitung.
Mr. Schroeder will be in Athens to mark the 75th anniversary of the German-Greek chamber of commerce and industry.
Greek-German relations are excellent and efforts will continue to improve them, the chancellor says. "This close friendship will be maintained in the future in the context of the European Union and this will deepen cooperation in all sectors."
Mr. Schroeder called the leading role Greece was playing in consolidating stability in southeast Europe "invaluable".
German businesses have long acknowledged the importance of the Greek market as a springboard to closer cooperation in the entire region, he says.
"The latest developments in the region have shown that cooperation between European states must become even tighter," he said.
Prime Minister Costas Simitis, in the same newspaper, says that Mr. Schroeder's visit "confirms once more the close cooperation Greece and Germany have on all levels and seals the friendly sentiments between the people of the two countries."
"The two countries are united above all by the attempt to build a united European home. They are united by the attempt to respond to the great challenges facing Europe, at the most decisive point in developments, on the threshold of 2000," he said.
He said solidarity should provide the basis for the seeking of effective answers to issues of vital importance and that joint positions and joint action should provide the answer for the European Union on critical matters such as foreign policy. He said he was optimistic that a new Europe of peace, democracy, freedom, prosperity and social justice was being born.
"Greece and Germany have and will continue to have a definitive contribution to winning this wager with the future," he said.
Source: Athens News Agency