03 March, 2008
Serbia has a European prospect, Greece's ambassador in Belgrade Christos Panagopoulos said on Sunday in an interview with the Serbian radio/television station B-92, and stressed that the Greek government has undertaken an initiative for the European integration of all the Balkan countries, among them Serbia.
The diplomat opined that the solution applied in Kosovo would not serve as the "recipe" for other cases in the Balkans, given that each country had particularities that had no relationship to the Kosovo issue.
To a comment by a B-92 journalist that, apart from Montenegro and FYROM, Greece too could in the future face problems with the "Albanian minority", Panagopoulos explained that "there is no Albanian minority in Greece".
"In our country, there are only Albanian economic refugees who came in search of a better life, and there is no fear of vibrations of that kind," the Greek ambassador said, adding that "Greece does not comprise part of the Balkan problem but, rather, a factor for its resolution".
Asked to comment on the reactions in Serbia following Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence, Panagopoulos said that the diplomatic moves by the Serbian government were "expected" and "legitimate", but added that the incidents outside the embassies and more generally in the streets of Belgrade were "unpleasant" and "condemnable".
To another question on whether Greece would stop issuing visas to Serbian citizens, as some EU member countries have done, the Greek envoy stated that "there is no such thought" and, on the contrary "Greece is preparing to receive more visitors from Serbia this year than last year".
Source: Athens News Agency