15 December, 2006
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis on Thursday underlined the need for the European Union to have a common policy and adopt common actions on the issue of immigration, during his address at the EU Summit which began here on Thursday.
Karamanlis said that Greece has supported the proposal on immigration submitted by Mediterranean countries reminding that Athens has proposed the creation of a common coast guard and the adoption of a common European action.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told reporters that immigration was a problem not only for Greece but for all Mediterranean countries, mainly Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Malta, noting that in recent years an important increase in the number of illegal immigrants trying to settle in European countries has been registered.
Regarding Serbia's European prospect, an issue discussed at the summit, Bakoyannis said that it needed the EU's support, adding that Greece supported the idea that Serbia's democratic forces should be backed. The foreign minister said that Serbia's collaboration with the International Criminal Tribunal at The Hague was necessary for Serbia's European progress.
PM’s earlier statements: The accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU sends all candidate states a positive message - namely, that observance and fulfillment of all EU terms and criteria pays off and is rewarded, Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis underlined on Thursday upon his arrival in Brussels.
The prime minister noted that European leaders would welcome Bulgaria and Romania to the EU bloc during Thurs-day's summit meeting, adding that this development confirmed that Greece followed the right policy on the specific issue. The EU accession of the two countries helps in the wider region’s stabilization, he added.
Karamanlis said that the issue of illegal immigration -- which is of major importance for Greece -- would also be discussed by EU leaders, as well as the Constitutional Treaty, innovation, research and EU enlargement.
Immediately after his arrival, the Greek prime minister had a meeting with Serb President Boris Tadic, who was in the Belgian capital for the signature of an agreement on his country’s accession into NATO’s Partnership for Peace.
The prime minister reiterated his support to the European orientation of the Balkan countries.
Source: Athens News Agency