Political, economic, commercial and energy issues, migration, the Syrian crisis and the Cyprus question, in addition to promoting the interests of Italian companies, were central in Foreign Minister Gentiloni’s agenda during his mission to Athens today. It was the first bilateral meeting for an Italian foreign minister since 2005.
Minister Gentiloni met with the President of the Republic of Greece, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, the Minister of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, Giorgos Stathakis, and the Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Panos Skourletis.
Italy and Greece together on the path towards new economic partnerships
During his visit to the Greek capital, Minister Gentiloni also opened the Italian-Greek ‘Business forum’ at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Athens, with a focus on promoting cooperation in the agro-industrial sector.
“Italy and Greece share the hope for a European Union empowered with a better economic direction,” said Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni addressing the participants in the Italian-Greek ‘Business forum’ and reaffirmed it during his talks with his Greek counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, the Minister of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism, Giorgos Stathakis, and the Minister of Productive Reconstruction, Environment and Energy, Panos Skourletis.
Before concluding his mission, Italy’s top diplomat paid a visit to the construction site of the Cultural Centre hosting the Opera Theatre and the National Library, which was donated to Greece by the ‘Stavros Niarchos’ philanthropic foundation. It is being built by the Salini construction and civil engineering company on a design by Renzo Piano.
The meetings offered the opportunity to strengthen bilateral relations between the countries, which are favoured by geographic and cultural proximity and a shared sensitivity on the current challenges facing the European Union. Italy is Greece’s second-largest trade partner and one of its major cultural interlocutors.
Minister Gentiloni’s visit to Athens has taken place only a few days after the visit by the Speaker of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, and will be followed by a mission led by the Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, Dario Franceschini.