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Greek EU Presidency of Hope

Greece is commencing the EU presidency with a positive performance: a primary surplus and an imminent recovery, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stated upon his arrival at the EU summit in Brussels, on December 19. The Greek Presidency "will be a presidency of hope; hope for more Europe and a better Europe," he noted.

In his speech at the European Council, Samaras urged European leaders to work toward developing synergies between the EU and NATO on the security and defence policy. He noted that Greece spends 6 % of its budget on defence allocations and stressed that such synergies could reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Other issues discussed at the Summit, that are of special concern to Greece, were the inclusion of maritime risks to Europe’s security threats; the need to boost Europe's defence industry, which complies with the Greek government’s decision for the restructuring of the state defence manufacturer; and migration, which is a constant pressure on countries such as Greece and Bulgaria due to the situation in Syria.

Last but not least, the banking union, after Wednesday’s ECOFIN decision, will be handled by the Greek presidency over the next six months. Today, Samaras will outline to the European Council the priorities of the Greek Presidency in the first half of 2014.

Last Updated Friday, 03 January 2014