NEWS

French President Nicolas Sarkozy studies…

French President Nicolas Sarkozy studies the Greek flag as he waits to address Parliament during a one-day official visit to Athens. France takes over the EU presidency next month and Sarkozy said he believes it is important for member states to ratify the Lisbon Treaty. ‘This treaty is not perfect but it puts 10 years of institutional debate to rest,’ he told MPs. The French president added that much still needed to be done to convince people about the value of the EU. ‘This will only come when we show the Greeks and the French that Europe is there to protect them and not to worry them.’ He said that immigration would be among his priorities. Following talks with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, he suggested that the EU should create a joint coast guard to help patrol its borders and provide assistance to Greece.