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Respect for what Greece has achieved – Foreign Minister Gabriel travels to Athens Greece

22.03.2017 - Article

Foreign Minister Gabriel is in Greece for talks on Wednesday and Thursday.

Refugees and migration, finance policy and relations between the EU and Turkey – Greece plays a central role in many key issues affecting Europe. Foreign Minister Gabriel is therefore in Athens for talks on 22 and 23 March. Shortly before the celebrations to mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, the visit also signals the strong cohesion within Europe.

Financial crisis: Greek politicians and the Greek people have achieved much

Foreign Minister Gabriel met Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece
Foreign Minister Gabriel met Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece© Inga Kjer/photothek.de

The sovereign debt crisis is again dominating the political debate in Greece. This issue will also feature prominently during Foreign Minister Gabriel’s trip.

On arrival, Gabriel first met the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Gabriel stated that a lot had happened since the start of the financial crisis and that much had been achieved through reforms. He went on to say that Germany had great respect for what Greek politicians and the Greek people had achieved.

Gabriel added that the task now was to continue following this path. The two countries are both interested in the swift conclusion of the forthcoming credit reviews. The Minister stressed that Germany stood firmly by Greece’s side. Finance policy will also be a main focus of the talks scheduled for Thursday with the Greek President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

Strong EU with Greece

Cohesion within the eurozone will not be the only issue discussed during Gabriel’s trip. The visit also signals the strong cohesion within the European Union as a whole. 25 March marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome and the founding of the European Community – of which Greece became a key member state.

Relations between Greece and the EU on the one hand and Turkey on the other will also be addressed. In the sphere of refugees and migration, Gabriel’s visit will focus on the refugee flows in the Aegean Sea and Turkey’s role in the refugee issue. Divided Cyprus will also be discussed – the negotiations on this have been deadlocked since February.

Documenta 14 in Athens

The German-Greek cultural cooperation plays an important role as well
The German-Greek cultural cooperation plays an important role as well© Inga Kjer/photothek.de

Alongside the political talks, cooperation in the cultural sphere will also be on the agenda. The documenta will take place for the 14th time in 2017 – for the first time both in Germany and abroad. From 8 April until 16 July, there will be events in Athens, and from June to September the exhibition will take place as usual in Kassel.

The main exhibition site in Athens will be the National Museum of Contemporary Art, which was founded in 2000 and is housed in a former brewery. The inclusion of the public space will be a key part of documenta 14. Projects will thus also take place in public sites around the city.

Foreign Minister Gabriel will therefore visit the National Museum of Contemporary Art and meet the director of documenta 14 before travelling back to Berlin on Thursday evening.

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Greece country profile

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