07 July, 2005
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis reiterated Athens' long-standing support for Romania's EU accession prospects, as he received his visiting Romanian counterpart Calin Popescu Tariceanu here on Wednesday.
"Greece continues to support the prospects of the European Union's expansion," Karamanlis underlined, in again expressing his certainty that Romania will meet all of its obligations within the framework of EU accession negotiations for achieving membership in 2007.
Moreover, Karamanlis emphasized that Greece will be amongst the first EU member-states to ratify a relevant Treaty of Accession for Romania and Bulgaria.
In terms of bilateral relations, both prime ministers referred to excellent ties and the capacity of even greater trade and investment cooperation, as Greece is currently amongst the top three investors (2.5 billion euros) in that north Balkan country.
Karamanlis also briefed his counterpart on the Greek presidency's goals and priorities for the Inter-Balkan cooperation group.
On his part, Tariceanu first stressed that he invited Karamanlis to Romania for an official visit, while terming bilateral political and trade relations as outstanding and a model for regional cooperation.
The Romanian PM added that Bucharest is interested in coordinating its positions with Athens after its entry into the EU as far as regional policy is concerned, citing areas of great interest for both countries, such as Kosovo and Moldova.
Moreover, he noted that Greeks in Romania and Romanians in Greece can play a significant role as a "bridge" between the two regional neighbors. Along those lines, he said he requested that Romanian citizens' social security payments be taken into account by Greek funds, an issue he said could be resolved on a reciprocal basis.
Earlier, Tariceanu attended a meeting of the Greek-Romanian Business Council, where he spoke to members of the group, which includes executives of several of the major Greek companies active in Romania.
He also met with President of the Republic Karolos Papaoulias and the Speaker of the Greek Parliament, Anna Psarouda-Benaki.
Source: Athens News Agency