Official visit of the President of the Hellenic Republic to Romania (28-29 June 2011)
The Greek President Karolos Papoulias, accompanied by Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis, made an official visit to Romania during 28 - 29 June 2011. During his visit to Bucharest the President met with the state, political and ecclesiastical leadership, in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere, which reflects the traditionally close relations between the two countries.
The President of the Hellenic Republic was welcomed, on June 28, at the international airport of Bucharest by the staff of the Greek Embassy in Bucharest, headed by Ambassador of Greece Mr. George Poukamissas. From the Romanian side, the President was attended by Deputy Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu, the Ambassador of Romania to Greece Mr. George Ciamba and the Head of the Presidential Protocol Ms. Delia Dinu. Then, Mr. Papoulias visited the Presidential Palace in Cotroceni, where he was received by the Romanian President, Mr. Traian Basescu. There followed a private meeting between the two Presidents in the hall of the Palais Cantacuzinilor Cotroceni. Meanwhile, foreign ministers of Greece and Romania, Mr. Stavros Lambrinidis and Mr. Teodor Baconschi signed a Memorandum of Understanding in the agricultural sector. After their talks, the two presidents gave a joint press conference. Mr. Papoulias said that they agreed to further exploit the potential for strategic cooperation in all fields, including that of energy. For his part, Mr. Basescu stressed that the seven Greek banks operating in Romania have met excellent attitude towards the Romanian market, contributing significantly in increasing the domestic output and supporting Romania to exit the recession.
During the first day of his visit, the Greek President also met with Romanian Prime Minister Mr. Emil Boc and HB Patriarch of Romania, Mr. Daniel, and attended an event at the Romanian Academy, on the occasion of the completion of 75 years since the death of Eleftherios Venizelos, in occasion of which he sent a greeting. On the same day the President of Romania hosted a banquet in honour of his Greek counterpart.
The second day of official visit to Romania, the Greek President met with the President of the Chamber of Deputies of Romania Mrs. Roberta Anastase, the chairman of the Senate Mr. Mircea Geoana and the Leader of the Opposition Mr. Victor Ponta. Mr. Papoulias had discussions with representatives of the Greek business community and the Greek Association of Romania, and also declared the opening of the Hellenic-Romanian Business Forum. In the afternoon of the same day, the President attended the ceremony for the official unveiling of the bronze bust of Eleftherios Venizelos (sculptor Praxiteles Tzanoulinos) placed on a square of Bucharest. Mr. Papoulias praised the donors for this work. Finally, before leaving Romania, the President, during a special ceremony which was held at the Greek Embassy in Bucharest in the presence of a Greek and Romanian public, bestowed the Golden Cross of the Order of the Benefaction to Ms. Elena Lazar, a scholar of Hellenic studies, director of the Romanian publishing house "Omonia".