Still in harness the day before Christmas Eve: Minister of State Michael Roth left on 23 December for his first visit to Greece since taking up his new post. In Athens he met his Greek counterpart, Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas.
Their talks focused on the situation in Greece, bilateral relations and the European priorities of the incoming EU Council presidency. Greece will take over the presidency from Lithuania on 1 January 2014.
Following the visit, Minister of State Roth reaffirmed that he regards Europe as a community of shared values, an economic union and a union of solidarity.
Active and practical solidarity with Greece
Before leaving Germany, Michael Roth said how pleased he was to be meeting his Greek counterpart so soon after taking up his new post.
He felt it was very important, he added, to intensify German Greek cooperation and support Greece’s successful endeavours to overcome the severe crisis in the country.
We know what a hard time people are having and recognise what immense efforts were needed to achieve the progress made to date. Germany will remain a reliable partner for Greece in all its future endeavours. It can count on our active and practical solidarity here, also in tackling the problem of dramatically high youth unemployment.
Minister of State Roth reaffirmed his belief that Europe would benefit from the Greek EU Council presidency starting in January.