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Press Office

Athens, 13 January 2023

1st Vice-president of Hellenic Parliament and representatives of parliamentary committees meet with delegation of Spanish Parliament Mixed Committee for the EU

The visit to the Hellenic Parliament of a cross-party delegation of the Spanish Chamber of Deputies and Senate Mixed Committee for the European Union, which took place at the initiative of the Hellenic Parliament’s European Affairs Committee, in the context of coordination on common issues between parliaments of the EU south at parliamentary fora, has concluded.

In the framework of the visit, the six-member delegation, headed by the Chairwoman of the Mixed Committee for the EU Susana Sumelzo Jordán, conducted consecutive meetings with the 1st Vice-President of the Hellenic Parliament and Chairman of the European Affairs Committee Nikitas Kaklamanis, as well as with cross-party delegations from the Committee on Public Administration, Public Order and Justice, the European Affairs Committee, the Economic Affairs Committee and the Production and Trade Committee. A working lunch also took place with the participation of members of the parliamentary delegation to the Council of Europe and the Conference on the Future of Europe Dimitris Kairidis, Theodoros Roussopoulos, Anastasios Chatzivasileiou, Ioannis Bournous and George Papandreou. Lastly, the Spanish deputies met with the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, competent for European Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis.

The Spanish delegation met with the 1st Vice-President of the Hellenic Parliament and President of the European Affairs Committee Nikitas Kaklamanis and the Committee’s Deputy Chair Dimitris Kairidis and then with a delegation of MPs from the European Affairs Committee, namely MPs Ioannis Bournous, Chara Kefalidou, Vasileios Viliardos and Sofia Sakorafa. Mr Kaklamanis stressed that he expects from the Spanish Presidency to restore the position of national parliaments as far as their participation in EU processes is concerned. He pointed out the immediate condemnation, on behalf of Europe, of Russian aggression, unlike in the case of Cyprus, which has been under occupation for 40 years now and mentioned that Greece wishes for Turkey to join the EU provided it respects International Law. Lastly, Mr Kaklamanis underlined the need for the EU to actively tackle the energy crisis, as it successfully did with Covid. 

Mr Kairidis, who then chaired the meeting, claimed that it is unacceptable to have Turkey be armed by EU member states, among which Spain, while threatening Greece with an invasion and that it is a paradox that at the same time the US Congress, tens of thousands of kilometres away, is providing more support to Greece, asking for an arms embargo on Turkey by the EU. The Greek MPs referred, inter alia, to the Conference on the Future of Europe, as well as to Greece’s request for the return of the Parthenon Marbles.

At the meeting with the delegation from the Public Administration, Public Order and Justice Committee the Chairman Maximos Charakopoulos participated along with the Secretary Efstathios Konstantinidis and members Kostas Zachariadis, Nadia Giannakopoulou and Antonis Mylonakis. Mr Charakopoulos focused on the converging views of the two countries regarding the war in Ukraine and highlighted the need to coordinate the European South to formulate a European migration policy with a fairer distribution of burdens and responsibilities. He then denounced Turkey’s practice of instrumentalising the migration issue.

At the meeting with the delegation of the Production and Trade and Economic Affairs Committees, the chairmen thereof participated, i.e. Georgios Vlachos and Stavros Kalogiannis, as well members Effie Achtsioglou, Georgios Arvanitidis and Vasileios Viliardos. The Greek MPs referred, inter alia, to issues of economic policy, at national and European level, and to issues related to the energy sector.

Mr Georgios Vlachos referred to the National Energy and Climate Plan and the climate law. In particular, he focused on actions to electrify transport and to save energy in homes, as well as to the electrical interconnections between the islands, the measures to ensure supply in the natural gas sector and the establishment of the Energy Transition Fund, underlining that Greece played a leading role in the EU regarding the revision of the natural gas and electricity market model. Mr Kalogiannis emphasised that the Greek economy is demonstrating significant resilience, maintaining high growth rates and referred to individual economic data. He pointed out that this dynamic course is the result of the policy implemented by the government, which at the same time supports citizens, households and businesses. Finally, he referred to the dialogue on the reform of the European fiscal framework, stressing that Greece supports the proposals for a balance between sustainable debt and investments.

The Spanish parliamentarians in turn confirmed the excellent bilateral relations, pointing out that there is room to further strengthen cooperation between the two parliaments in view of Spain assuming the EU Council Presidency in the second half of 2023. 

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