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Alternate Foreign Minister G. Katrougalos visits Sweden
During his two-day visit to Sweden, Alternate Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos discussed Greece's positions on the future of Europe, the reversal of austerity policies, and the return of collective bargaining in our country with his Swedish counterparts and the leadership of the Swedish labour unions.
These positions, which have already been submitted to the European Commission ahead of the text of concerns being prepared by the latter, were presented in detail to the Swedish government, which is hosting a special Summit Meeting on Social Europe this coming November.
In his meetings with Ann Linde, the European Affairs and Trade Minister, Yiva Johansson, Minister for Labour, and Hans Dahigren, State Minister to the Prime Minister, Mr. Katrougalos presented a set of proposals aimed at balancing the economic and social dimensions of the European Union and democratising economic governance.
These proposals include, among other things, the establishment of a new European Pillar of Social Rights, with the technical support of the WTO; inclusion of social goals and indices in the European Semester; the creation of a Eurogroup on the level of Labour and Social Affairs Ministers; setting of a European minimum wage; establishment of a European social security programme against unemployment; the reshaping of the European Support Mechanism into a European Monetary Fund, under the control of the European Parliament; and, in general, more direct involvement of the latter and national parliaments in economic governance.
Mr. Katrougalos also discussed Greece's positions at the meetings he had with the vice president of the Confederation of Labour Unions, Therese Kuvellin, and the president of the Swedish Federation of Employees, Eva Nurdmark. Mr. Katrougalos also presented Greece's positions on the future of Europe at the Europahuset, at the invitation of the European Commission in Stockholm.
Finally, Mr. Katrougalos met with Metropolitan Cleopas of Sweden and All Scandinavia.