President Pavlopoulos underlined the need for action to protect the planet from unsustainable damage, in his address at the first day of the 14th meeting of the Arraiolos Group that is held in Riga, Latvia entitled “The planet sends SOS”.
Pavlopoulos said that the time of decisions has come, noting that “all of us together can rebuilt a Europe of new sustainable growth”.
Focusing on Greece’s case, Pavlopoulos cited a Bank of Greece report and other relevant reports in international bibliography which support the point that in purely economic terms climate change brought about by human acts will cost Greece 700 billion euros by the end of the 21st century. This, he said, “means that the cost for Greece will exceed double the country’s foreign debt” unless the country does something quickly to reduce the cost by half.
The Arraiolos Group is a meeting of the presidents of the EU member-states, whether executive or non-executive.
Following the incentive of then-President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio, the first group meeting took place in the Portuguese town of Arraiolos in 2003. Besides Greece, the Arraiolos Group includes Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia.