22 June, 2007
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis arrived here at noon on Thursday to represent Greece at the European Union's summit, that will focus on the revision of the Constitutional Treaty, and inaugurated the new building of Greece's permanent delegation at the EU.
Karamanlis pointed out that the aim is "for our diplomatic authorities to reflect the image of a Greece that is modern, self-confident and has ambitious goals."
The prime minister said that the permanent delegation at the EU is the spearhead of the country's presence at the most important decision-making centre internationally and added that "Brussels is now the field where we are making daily struggles to defend our interests in all sectors."
Karamanlis reminded that Greece is one of the oldest member-states of the European family and noted that "we belong to the hard nucleus of the group of countries that actively support the European idea and it is an active partner, contributing decisively to the shaping of a common European course."
He further said that "our country, always in the front line, is participating from the beginning in all the leading policies on closer cooperation, but we are also shaping policies and undertaking considerable initiatives."
Karamanlis underlined that Greece is playing a leading role in the effort to adopt the Constitutional Treaty, saying that "we support the substantive upgrading of the European fabric, that will coincide with its enlargement, we want a Europe with a strong international presence and a role that will guarantee the prosperity of its citizens at the same time."
The prime minister referred to the positive influence and the reformist force that the EU can exercise, as he said, not only for its member-states but also for its neighbours and focused on the Balkan countries in particular and the upgrading of Euro-Mediterranean cooperation.
Karamanlis made an account of the government's work in his address and underlined that it is following a wide reformist programme based also on the mandates of the Lisbon strategy and it is utilising, as he added, all EU tools in full with the aim of regional and social cohesion.
Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis said in a brief address during the inauguration ceremony that the new building is Greece's showcase in the heart of Europe.
Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos was also present at the inauguration ceremony, whom Karamanlis congratulated for Cyprus' accession to the EMU, that is expected to be announced officially on Thursday, as of January 1, 2008.
Before attending the inauguration ceremony, Karamanlis visited the new offices of the Constantine Karamanlis Democracy Institute.
Source: Athens News Agency