Bulgaria will support Greece on the way to new economic growth, Plevneliev says

Bulgaria will support Greece on its way to new economic growth in the spirit of pan-European efforts, just as Bulgaria always has done, President Rossen Plevneliev said on July 4 2012 after talks in Athens with his host and counterpart, Karolos Papoulias.

Plevneliev is on a two-day visit to Greece, the first head of state from another European Union country to visit since the country’s recent parliamentary elections and change of government.

The Bulgarian President said that the fact that he was the first European head of state to visit at this time was “not by chance” but an indication of his country’s great wish to work together with Greece.

Plevneliev, who became President in January 2012 after an election victory on the ticket of Bulgaria’s centre-right ruling party, expressed support for the new Greek government headed by prime minister Antonis Samaras.

“We welcome the vote of the Greek people, who supported the policy of restoring the Greek economy, achieving stability and supporting the euro.Bulgaria will support Greece on its way to new growth in the spirit of pan-European efforts as we have always done,” Plevneliev said.

Plevneliev said that the friendly relations and co-operation between Bulgaria and Greece were of great importance for stability and peace in the region.

He said thatGreeceremained a highly important trade and economic partner of Bulgaria, with Greece still in top spot in trade and foreign investment in Bulgaria.

Papoulias said that in spite of the economic crisis, bilateral trade had grown 18 per cent to reach 2.4 billion euro in 2011, from 2.28 billion euro in 2010.

He said that in spite of the difficult economic situation, Greek companies were retaining their interest and investments in Bulgaria.

“Greece thinks that encouraging Bulgarian-Greek co-operation in all big energy projects is highly important,” Papoulias told a joint news conference after his talks with Plevneliev.

“Further strengthening and encouragement of the co-operation with Bulgaria is important. The spirit of solidarity and understanding, which dominates the relations between our two countries, especially in times of crisis, is a good example of co-operation between friendly and neighbouring countries,” Papoulias said

A Bulgarian – Greek business forum was scheduled to be held, with the two presidents saying that it would promote bilateral co-operation between businesses.

As a sequel to the 2010 joint meeting of the cabinets of Bulgaria and Greece, another such meeting will be held before the end of 2012.

According to news agency Focus, the two delegations on July 4 also discussed the acceleration of the construction of a gas interconnection between Bulgaria and Greece. The gas connection between Bulgaria and Greece is essential to the former’s energy diversification, because right now the country is dependent on the natural gas supplies via Ukraine.



The Sofia Globe staff

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