Greek EU presidency to focus on growth, migration, energy: PM
ATHENS – Agence France-Presse
Greek PM Samaras (L) and Lithuania’s President Grybauskaite leave after a press conference in Athens. AFP photoGreece’s upcoming six-month term as EU president will focus on fostering growth, regulating immigration and promoting maritime issues with emphasis on undersea energy exploration, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said yesterday.
“The Lithuanian [EU] presidency set as a priority, among others, fiscal stability alongside growth and employment. We will continue this twin target,” Samaras said after talks with visiting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, who currently holds the rotating presidency.
Priorities would be “to complete the banking union, dealing with migration flows... and an across-the-board maritime agenda including policies to develop undersea energy wealth,” the prime minister said.
Grybauskaite said European parliamentary elections on May 25, 2014, would place pressure on Greece to make quick decisions during its tenure. “I am sure that [Greece] will be able to manage this goal.”
Mired in recession, Greece has key internal issues to address alongside its EU presidency duties. It is due to hold local elections on May 18 and 25, 2014, in which the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn could bolster its strength, despite an ongoing criminal investigation against its leadership.
Golden Dawn has remained the third most popular party in polls, despite its implication in the murder of an anti-fascist musician in September. Athens is also holding delicate talks with its international creditors – the EU, IMF and European Central Bank – to obtain the release of promised bailout loans.