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Greece can depend on European solidarity

18 January 16 | Joachim Gauck
Joachim Gauck

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Antulio Richetta

Director IBI Group
Greece can depend on European solidarity, German President Joachim Gauck said repeatedly after his meeting here on Monday with President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who is visiting Germany. "As both presidents we want, as far as we are concerned, to stabilize the long friendship between Germans and Greeks.

 

There are so many bridges of understanding," he said after the meeting. Persistently keeping Greece in the European Union and providing our support on Greek reform program’s further development is currently Germany’s core policy, he pointed out.

Gauck noted a mutual desire to stabilize the good relations between the two countries, pointing to the large number of bilateral contacts, as well as the large numbers of Greeks living in Germany and the persistently large numbers of Germans that chose to spend their holidays in Greece.

Referring to the refugee crisis, the German president described it as a critical situation and said there was room for improving Europeansolidarity on this issue. "We do not yet know every point of our governments strategies, how they want to permanently solve the problem, but we cannot imagine that one country can manage on its own," he said.

He stressed that it was in the common interest of Europeans that they should not leave Greece to struggle to secure its borders unaided: "As Europeans, we must seek not only national solutions but solutions in common and know that we can count on one another."

The German president pointed out that Greece was faced with an even greater burden as a result of the refugee flows, in addition to the challenges of economic reform, and that it was hard to conceive how the country could cope without solidarity from its European partners.

On the issue of Greece's demands for war reparations, Gauck noted that Athens and Berlin do not have a "common opinion on all the legal issues but looked at one another with the eyes of friendship and know that we belong to one another and want to stay together."

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