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20 March, 2002
Prime Minister Costas Simitis on Tuesday briefed Greek President Kostis Stephanopoulos on the results of the weekend European Union summit in Barcelona, telling reporters afterwards that Greece's EU presidency in the first half of 2003 comes at a crucial point for the resolution of several economic and social issues in the 15-member EU.
Simitis also reiterated that the EU's expansion will proceed that same year, with specific accession agreements expected to be signed during the Greek presidency.
Finally, he again voiced his support for a Europe that emphasizes social policy rather than only a "market-oriented" Europe.
He added that several other important issues are assigned, which include economics and social issues, along with business problems in the EU.
Simitis also said that the Conference on the Future of Europe will be completed during the Greek presidency and Greece will be the member-state to formulate the scenarios on which the decision for the future of the EU will be taken.
Speaking on the discussions that took place during the informal Barcelona summit, Simitis said that they concerned the future of the European space, which, as he said, should be a social one and not a market.
Source: Athens News Agency