© Copyright Embassy of Greece 1996-2005. All Rights Reserved.
26 March, 1999
The European Union German presidency last night presented a compromise proposition to the Agenda 2000 issue which has been the major problem of the Berlin special EU summit, Foreign Minister George Papandreou said late last night.
The proposition was the subject of discussions between the EU leaders until press time.
Earlier, Prime Minister Costas Simitis referred to discussions held in Berlin on Thursday night and yesterday morning during the European Union summit on the Agenda 2000 in statements he made to reporters.
Mr. Simitis said the "15" discontinued the meeting at 11 a.m. and that the EU German presidency decided to start bilateral contacts with its 14 partners expected to last until 5 p.m.
He said the main problems concerning the EU's fiscal prospects and the Agenda 2000, namely the issue of Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) expenditures, expenditures for the EU's structural policies, as well as the issue of restructuring the EU budget's own resources had been discussed so far.
Mr. Simitis said that regarding the discussion on the EU's structural policies, which is of special importance for Greece, the German presidency has tabled a proposal determining the amount of funds for structural policies at 210 billion euro over the next seven years. He further said the German presidency is introducing the philosophy of the criterion of regional instead of national prosperity in the allocation of these funds.
According to this idea, the criterion for providing EU economic aid to a region will not be whether it belongs to a country whose GDP per capita is less than 75 per cent of the average EU GDP, but if the region in question has itself a GDP per capita which is considerably less than the EU average.
Mr. Simitis said these proposals do not correspond either to Greek needs or to Greek claims. He said Greece has the lowest level of development between member-states and, consequently, it has a greater need for economic support from EU funds to continue its development policy.
Mr. Simitis said that both the amount and the way with which it will be allocated, in relation to the EU's structural policies, does not satisfy Greece and, therefore, Greece tabled its objections.
Source: Athens News Agency