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Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis holds telephone conversation with the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher (3 October 2019)
Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis had a telephone conversation today, 3 October, with the UK Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, Christopher Pincher. During their talk, which took place at Mr. Pincher’s request, the British official briefed the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, who is responsible for Greece’s handling of Brexit, on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s new proposal. Specifically, Mr. Pincher conveyed to Mr. Varvitsiotis the British Prime Minister’s initiative for presenting the European Union with a new compromise proposal for Great Britain’s withdrawal.
The British Minister of State stressed that the United Kingdom is endeavouring to leave the EU with an agreement and avert a no-deal Brexit, and expressed his conviction that the new proposal has parliamentary support, unlike PM May’s proposal, which failed to garner approval from Britain’s Parliament.
Mr. Varvitsiotis underscored that it is regrettable that a key partner of ours is leaving the Union, noting that Greece is also in favour of a Brexit with an agreement. He then noted that the competent European Union task force will consider the proposal.
The Alternate Minister highlighted that it would be unfair for so many EU and British citizens to shoulder the burden of the repercussions of a no-deal Brexit, expressing his support for a compromise solution. At the same time, he assured the British Minister of State that Greece considers the United Kingdom as a firm and key partner, and that we are endeavouring, after Brexit, to enhance our close cooperation and strengthen the strategic nature of our bilateral relations.
In this context, Mr. Varvitsiotis raised the matter of Greek students’ university fees and the need to maintain these fees at low levels after 2021. He also referred to the preservation of the residency rights of the 110,000 Greeks in Britain and the 50,000 UK citizens in Greece.
Finally, the Alternate Minister highlighted the importance of preserving the Good Friday Agreement following Brexit, due to its historic and symbolic nature, as it contributed to the resolution of a chronic dispute.