Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos on Thursday stressed that developments in Europe were a “crucial and open wager,” whose outcome would largely determine Greece’s return to growth. He noted that there were currently two prevailing trends regarding economic governance in the European Union; the first was the German obsession with strict fiscal discipline and the second was the more democratic French model, which was supported by the Greek government.
Addressing the 2nd Thessaloniki Meeting entitled “Strong and competitive industry as condition for a new growth model,” Katrougalos said that the foreign ministry, wanting to exploit Greek advantages – such as stability and its strategic position in the region – has developed a multilevel diplomacy for peace in the eastern Mediterrenean and to establish common positions in the Balkans.
Main opposition New Democracy (ND) deputy for foreign affairs George Koumoutsakos was also on the same panel and underlined that Greece must be a beacon of stability in the area, filling the vacuum of a dominant presence and putting emphasis on its own positions about where Europe should be going. He noted that Greece must rise to all the challenges of the region (energy, refugees issue) and openly strive to impose its agenda with respect to European issues.