First Intergovernmental Conference between Greece and Italy

A meeting between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Italian counterpart Paolo Gentiloni in Corfu kicked off the 1st Intergovernmental Conference between Greece and Italy on Thursday.

This is the first official intergovernmental cooperation meeting, taking place in conditions of stringent security, with the participation of ministers, secretaries-general and government officials from both countries. It aims to lay the foundations for good cooperation between the two countries on a business and development level.

Greece is emerging from the crisis and its prospects for growth need to be boosted through substantial foreign investments that will create jobs,” Tsipras noted.

The Greek prime minister said that Italy is a very important partner in the area of investments, adding that he and Gentiloni agreed on the need to strengthen this relationship. “We referred particularly to TRAINOSE, as the agreement was signed today,” added Tsipras, underlining that Italy’s Ferrovie Dello Stato intends to invest 500 mln euros in the Greek railways (TRAINOSE).

Italy is Greece’s foremost strategic trade partner and we hope that this cooperation will be strengthened further in the sector of investments, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said in joint statements with Greek Prime Minister.

The Italian premier said that this day brings very good news, with the signing of an agreement between Greece’s rail operator TRAINOSE and Italy’s Ferrovie Dello Stato Italiane and other investments.

Gentiloni noted that “the economic climate is changing for better and we must seize the opportunity,” adding there cannot be a two-speed Europe, separated between north and south.

There is a great opportunity to give Europe new impetus, we can take rather significant and optimistic steps in the future, Gentiloni underlined.

Tsipras said that he shares Gentiloni’s view regarding the possibilities arising for new reforms and changes in Europe, because, as he noted, we lived in a situation where everyone was pretending that everything was going well.

He stressed that there is a window of opportunity and that specific decisions must be made in the near future, immediately after the German elections. The usefulness of Greece’s initiative in organising a meeting of Europe’s Mediterranean states at the level of coordination, dialogue and conciliation was more apparent than ever, Tsipras added, noting that “this can today make a decisive contribution to the debate on the future of Europe.”