16122018Headline:

Pavlopoulos notes ‘common vision’ on EU’s future in meeting with Portugal’s president

Receiving visiting Portugal’s President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at the presidential mansion on Tuesday, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos stressed their shared vision on the future of Europe, while also sending messages to Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

“Our common vision concerns European integration. Namely, the creation of a federal type of European Union that is founded on the institutional and political buttresses of representative democracy,” he said.

Greeting the Portuguese president as a “great friend of Greece” and a notable figure in the EU, Pavlopoulos said that, in addition to a common vision, they also shared the same concerns about the future of the EU and the Eurozone.

Pavlopoulos said that Greece will fully meet the obligations it has undertaken, adding that its partners must now do their part to ensure that Greek debt becomes manageable, while he also highlighted Greece’s response to the refugee crisis, which had upheld the principles of humanism and solidarity.

De Sousa, who is on an official visit, responded by saying that the Greek people can count on Portugal’s support and expressed his admiration for the efforts of the Greek people during the years of crisis. He noted that his visit was “an excellent opportunity to reaffirm our solidarity with you and all the Greek people for the wave of refugees and migrants that Greece has had to cope with at a time and under conditions that were exceptionally demanding.”

It was also a way to express Portugal’s strong and steadfast dedication to developing its bilateral relations, which “only if they are developed can lead us to cooperation for building a true European Union,” he added.

During the meeting, Pavlopoulos again urged Turkey to fully respect European and international law, including the Lausanne Treaty and the Paris Treaty of 1974.

He stressed that both treaties are “absolutely clear and complete, leaving no margins for grey zones” and that they cannot be revised or updated in any way but must be fully respected, especially since to dispute them would mean disputing the borders of Greece and, by extension, the external borders of the European Union, since the two were one and the same.

Pavlopoulos also repeated that Greece desires good neighbour and friendly relations with Turkey, while sincerely supporting Turkey’s European perspective, provided that Turkey reciprocates by showing sincere respect for European and international law.

With respect to Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Pavlopoulos said that Turkey was bound by and must respect the Law of the Sea, even though it has not signed the relevant treaty, since the International Court of Justice at The Hague had ruled that this generated generally accepted rules of international law.

Pavlopoulos went on to express Greece’s support for the NATO and EU prospects of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), while noting the need to resolve the name dispute in a way that is “compatible with history, international law and European rules”. He noted that this must arise through a mutually acceptable agreement on the name that also eliminates irredentism and provides guarantees against irredentist actions, which must include a revision of FYROM’s constitution to make it compatible with any agreement reached.

He also referred to the Cyprus problem, noting that Greece strives for a just and viable solution as soon as possible, and that this cannot include “limited sovereignty” or the presence of occupation troops and outdated third-party guarantors on the island.

“This would be contrary to all senses of international and European law. Furthermore, it would create a dangerous and potentially disastrous precedent for the sovereignty of every EU member-state,” he pointed out.