Within the turmoil in Europe, Greece has managed to upgrade its prestige and role on the international stage, with the help of its people’s sacrifices and struggles, and to surprise its EU partners in reviving the economy, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday after attending the European Council meeting in Brussels.
Greece was exemplary in having exited a difficult and prolonged crisis, Tsipras said.
Tsipras said today’s meeting focused on Brexit negotitations, the European economy, relations with China and climate change.
In his meetings on the sidelines, he said he had conveyed to fellow leaders the upgrade of Greece’s energy role, as seen through the recent trilateral meeting in Jerusalem with Cyprus and Israel. This allowed the country to serve as a significant centre of stability, security and energy collaboration in the East Mediterranean, he noted.
Among other comments, he underlined Greece’s important strategic relationship with China, particularly in connecting the port of Piraeus with the world, and stressed that the Greek-Turkish relations remain a key issue in Europe’s future.
Speaking of Brexit, he cautioned against the creation of exclusionary walls and succumbing to fear. “The difficulty Britain faces in its decision to leave the EU proves that no solution based on building a protective national wall and on a national impasse is easy or effective, compared to working collectively in the EU to resolve challenges,” the Greek PM said.
He added that Britain and the EU face a very difficult path but it does provide future prospects, as the EU framework allows for collective and progressive solutions.
In Brexit, he said, one can see both aspects of Europe, “the face of progressive Europe through the difficult search for collective solutions, and the face of a conservative and fear-prone Europe that leads to dead ends.”