Dalia Grybauskaitė to hand over the EU Presidency to Greece

10 December 2013, Last updated at, 17:02 EET
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author: AFP/Scanpix

Tuesday, December 10, Vilnius - President Dalia Grybauskaitė has departed for Athens. She will hold meetings with Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

The main purpose of the visit is to hand over the EU Presidency to Greece. Meetings will focus on the results of Lithuanian EU Presidency, key tasks for the European Union and their continuity, as well as priorities of Greece's Presidency.

Greece will officially start its EU Presidency on January 1 next year. It will take the helm of the EU Council for the fifth time. Under Greece's Presidency in 2003, Lithuania together with nine more countries from Central and Eastern Europe signed an EU accession agreement in Athens and a year later became fully-fledged members of the Community.

According to the President, Lithuania and Greece have the same position on the underlying EU priorities. Both countries seek economic growth, lower unemployment level, job creation, and financial stability in the Community via the banking union. Both countries also seek progress in the EU relations with Eastern Partnership countries and the Balkans.

Lithuania, who has successfully emerged from the crisis, backs Greece's austerity measures aimed at countering difficult financial and economic challenges and dealing with the debt problems.

Other issues to be discussed during the visit include bilateral relations between Lithuania and Greece, economic cooperation, energy and nuclear security issues. According to the President, it is in the interest of both countries to ensure diversified energy supplies. Lithuania and Greece actively strive that nuclear power stations being developed in the EU neighborhood, Belarus and Turkey, meet the highest security standards.

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