Monday December 22, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
13o C
8o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Samaras says democratic values key to NATO membership as Greece also eyes EU expansion

In a message that appeared to be directed at the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and its potential renewed bid to join NATO when the organization holds its next summit in September, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras warned on Friday that any country wishing to become part of the alliance would have to prove it is willing to uphold “democratic values.”

Samaras made the comments after meeting NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Athens, a day after European Union defense ministers held an informal meeting in the Greek capital.

“Any new candidacy is evaluated. There are the pre-accession stages and each country must meet the criteria set by the alliance, which is a community of democratic values,” said Samaras.

His comments came a day after Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos made a similar comment in Skopje, where he met with FYROM officials. Venizelos suggested that there is more than FYROM’s name dispute with Greece that is preventing it from joining international institutions such as NATO.

Like Venizelos, Samaras focused on the issue of good-neighborly relations, adding that respect for human rights and freedom of expression should also be upheld.

Sources said that the possibility of a NATO enlargement in September were discussed during the meeting with Rasmussen. Samaras is believed to have expressed concerns about including FYROM based on democratic criteria rather than the ongoing name dispute.

During the talks, Samaras also asked for cooperation with Israel to become part of NATO’s agenda.

“As the holder of the presidency of the European Union, Greece is especially well placed to make sure that the countries of Europe do develop their capabilities and their strength. This would benefit NATO, the EU and the world,” said Rasmussen, who condemned the violence in Ukraine.

“We are in the cradle of democracy and democracy is the foundation of NATO. Democracy is in danger in the wider neighborhood. Greece has an active participation in the alliance,” he added.

Venizelos also completed on Friday his tour of the Western Balkans with a visit to Albania, where he met with Prime Minister Edi Rama. Venizelos said that it was a “basic priority” for Greece to ensure that Albania is given candidate status by the European Union before Greece’s presidency of the 28-nation bloc ends in June.

The Greek foreign minister also intends to review the “Thessaloniki Agenda” that Greece promoted when it last held the EU presidency in 2003. This foresees the induction of all Western Balkan states in the Union. Venizelos hopes to host a meeting between EU foreign ministers and diplomats from Southeastern Europe in Thessaloniki in April.

ekathimerini.com , Friday February 21, 2014 (20:37)  
Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
Environment Ministry to reconsider controversial bill
Corfu to host country’s first hydroplane strip
Political upheaval sharpens after bribe claims with threats and insinuations
ANALYSIS
Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
Mario Draghi has one month to win consensus on quantitative easing by showing he won’t endanger the European Central Bank. As officials prepare to consider sovereign-bond purchases on Jan. 2...
Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
The euro probed fresh two-year lows early on Monday in a subdued start to a holiday-shortened week, extending a multi-month trend of weakness against the dollar that many traders say will re...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
PAOK scraped through its Livadia challenge beating Levadiakos to remain on top of the Super League for Christmas, one point ahead of Olympiakos that enjoyed a great game at Kalloni and offer...
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
Inside Sports
INTERVIEW
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
He’s treated like a rock star wherever he goes to lecture. His book “Capital in the 21st Century,” a study on income and wealth inequality from the 18th century to the present, recently tran...
COMMENTARY
Who lost Greece
If Greece collapses much will be said about where the fault lies. Sure, we all know the failings of Greek politicians. That said, much of the blame lies with outsiders who pushed Greece beyo...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
2. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
3. Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
4. Political saga is harming liquidity
5. Bad timing for tenders as oil rates decline
6. Tax exemptions deprive state budget of over 3.5 bln euros
more news
Today
This Week
1. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
2. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
3. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
4. Who lost Greece
5. ‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
6. Snubbing the moderates
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. High stakes
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. On the edge but not gutless
6. Girl, aged 11, gives birth on Crete
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.