Schinas: Developments vindicate accession to EC in 1981


European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas, on a six-day visit to Greece that concludes on Tuesday, said that the coronavirus crisis, the massive vaccination plan in Europe and the Recovery Fund prove the wisdom of Greece’s joining united Europe 40 years ago. 

He was addressing an event at the National Museum of Contemporary Art to present a Hellenic Post stamp on Greece’s 40th anniversary since joining the union in 1979 under Konstantinos Karamanlis, who had “a lonely path believing in, organizing and achieving essentially by himself the feat of Greece’s accession.” 

Reflecting on the country’s progress in the EU, Schinas said that “colossal funding” from the bloc allowed Greece to “upgrade infrastructure, health and education, and rural Greece to rise to new heights.” Greece has embraced the initiative of the Conference on the Future of Europe, a citizen-led series of debates and discussions (opening on Sunday), the commissioner said, stressing the value of public participation. 

He further pointed out chronic faults that Greek leaders should learn from, including “the syndrome of ‘leave it for later’ and the nationalistic adoption of European successes along with blaming the EU for any mistakes.”