24 June, 2005
Faced with the dilemma between Europe as a market and Europe as a political entity, Greece opts for the second choice, foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos underlined on Thursday.
"[The Greek government] sees Europe as an entity that is democratic, with social solidarity, economic development and social sensitivity, and with a strong position in the world. This presupposes that it is competitive and dynamic, something that does not conflict with the other aims," he said.
He also noted that Greece had a steadfast view concerning the model and philosophy of European integration, believing that it should proceed through a synthesis of positions and convergence, not by imposing positions.
Responding to questions on Europe's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Koumoutsakos said it was a mistake to criticize CAP as simply a subsidy for a specific section of the population and underlined that CAP's purpose was to ensure that Europe was agriculturally autonomous.
Asked whether European enlargement should continue unobstructed, in spite of the recent crisis within the EU and calls for a period of 'reflection' by French President Jacques Chirac, the spokesman said that Athens' main position on enlargement remained unchanged and was backed by all the political parties.
While conceding that there was concern over developments, Koumoutsakos also stressed that nothing had changed with respect to things agreed on an EU level and said that candidate-states should continue reforms in order to meet EU accession requirements.
Source: Athens News Agency