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Foreign Minister Venizelos presents priorities of Greek EU presidency
The priorities of the Greek Presidency of the EU Council in the first half of 2014 were presented to a cabinet meeting on Thursday by Government Vice President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos, and were unanimously approved.
Greece, Venizelos underlined, will take over the EU Presidency at a critical transition period for Europe, as the economic crisis has forced the adoption of fiscal austerity to preserve financial stability and economic restructuring.
The extent and intensity of the crisis and the ensuing recession and unemployment have shaken the confidence of a significant part of European citizens in the ability of the European entity to implement reliable and effective policy for a return to prosperity, economic recovery and high levels of employment.
Dealing with the financial crisis through the implementation of strict budgetary discipline policies has strongly influenced social cohesion, particularly in countries which faced the crisis immediately, Venizelos said.
As a result, he noted, the major challenge for prosperity and stability in the EU was now based on the confirmation of its mission in the hearts and minds of its citizens. In this context, Europe is now called upon to respond to the challenge of the economic crisis, preserving the common currency through EMU deepening, promoting immediate policies to address recession and unemployment by stimulating growth.
In addition, the elections for the new members of the European Parliament during the Greek presidency was an additional factor that defined this presidency, Venizelos said.
Source: Athens News Agency