Digital Policy, Telecommunications and Media Minister Nikos Pappas has a series of meetings at the U.S. State Department during his visit to Washington, a ministry announcement said on Wednesday.
These included talks with Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary John Heffern of the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and Julie Zoller, Acting Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy at the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs.
Pappas briefed Zoller on the progress of the Greek economy, noting the crucial reforms carried out in the pension and tax systems and an improvement in the business climate, the press release said. He also underlined the need to quickly conclude the second review of the Greek programme, saying that Greece had met its commitments and even overperformed, “so there is no real reason to delay.”
He said the Greek government’s strategy was to turn the country into a trade, energy and networks hub for the surrounding region, exploiting its geopolitical position between the developed European market and its proximity to Asia and North Africa.
“Until now, Greece was exclusively occupied with how it would survive the next month. Now we are in a position to think about the future. Our country, as an EU member-state and due to its position at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, is a junction that could contribute to the stabilisation and growth of the region,” he said. Pappas was accompanied by the general secretary for telecommunications and post Vassilis Maglaras.
Speaking later at a meeting organized by the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, he focused on Greece’s path in Europe and the future of the Union.
“Those who bring up the non-existent issue of Grexit, following the Brexit, simply seek to hide Europe’s problems under the carpet. They essentially align themselves with those who hide behind the IMF in the issue of Greek debt reduction, so as not to bring up the fundamental issue of European debt,” he said.
“Greece has made its choice. And its choice is Europe. However this choice answers only a small part of the question. The real question is, ‘Which Europe?’ What do we do, which policies do we adopt so that we can ensure Europe’s survival in the future, growth and the essential prosperity for all its citizens?” he added.