01 December, 2003
Greece's Foreign Minister George Papandreou described as a ''positive step'' for a European defense the trend towards acceptance by the ''EU 25'' of a German-French-British proposal.
Referring to a discussion in Naples by the 25 foreign ministers of the European Union member states and new members slated to join in May, Papandreou said that ''a wider consensus'' was formed that ''creates the tendency towards universal acceptance of the proposals concerning structured cooperation and the mutual assistance clause''.
Papandreou further observed that the relevant proposal constituted ''a solution that reflects the necessary balances among the Europeanists, the neutrals and the pro-NATO members'', and noted the reservations manifested by the neutral countries (Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Austria) with respect to the mutual assistance clause.
Source: Athens News Agency