I am very happy to participate in my first European Council as the newly-elected Prime Minister of Greece.
After 10 years of crisis Greece is turning the corner. We have received a strong mandate to deliver real reforms, create jobs, cut red tape, attract investments and make the lives of ordinary Greeks much better.
We will honor that commitment. Greeks, especially the young Greeks, deserve opportunities and not deficits.
At the same time, Greece is faced with serious strategic challenges which are also at the forefront of the European agenda. Migratory flows, over the past months, have increased substantially. It is an issue that needs to be addressed at the European level.
Greece and Europe cannot be blackmailed by Turkey on this issue. The European Union needs to demonstrate much more solidarity vis-a-vis Greece in managing this issue, coming up with a new migration and asylum pact, but also coming up with an emergency Plan B in case the current crisis turns into an emergency.
As far as Cyprus is concerned. Greece, from the first moment supported the decision taken at the General Council level regarding targeted measures, targeted sanctions, involving people and corporations engaged in the illegal drilling by Turkey within Cyprus’ territorial waters.
On the Western Balkans, Greece is a pillar and an anchor of stability in a very turbulent region. We support the path towards EU membership for our northern neighbors, provided they fully respect the international agreements they have signed, they adhere to the rule of law and, of course, they respect minority rights.