Greek President Karolos Papoulias, currently on a formal visit here, attributed the Greek crisis - and to a lesser degree the Romanian crisis - to a crisis of European institutions.
Papoulias said the present situation is “a test for the European Union, one which will show if the principle of solidarity will prevail by helping those who should be helped for the purpose of overcoming a European crisis.”
Referring to the Greek Parliament’s approval of the medium-term fiscal strategy earlier on Wednesday, Papoulias said the outcome of the vote was “good”, adding that “the government overcame a major obstacle, got the parliament’s vote and now will have to prove with its work that is worthy of the people’s confidence.”
Speaking earlier with Romanian Senate President Mircea Geoana, he said he sees a change in the stance of the major European powers because it has become apparent that the solidarity principle should prevail to avoid a general collapse.
The Greek president also stressed that this is a major challenge for the EU, adding characteristically that “Europe will either surrender to speculators or resist as a political and economic entity, safeguarding its unity.” He also added that the Greek side has its share of responsibility in today’s crisis.
President Papoulias addresses state dinner in his honor hosted by Romanian counterpart
Greek President Karolos Papoulias, on a state visit to Romania, expressed optimism that Greece will win the battle of the economic crisis, but "not with a leveling recipe", during a dinner in his honor hosted by Romanian President Traian Basescu on Tuesday night.
Papoulias also stressed the need for the weaker strata of society, the low salary and pension earners and unemployed, to be protected.
The President also outlined Greece's policy on the Balkans, and Athens' backing of the European prospect of the Western Balkans countries.
On FYROM in particular, Papoulias underlined that "Greece aspires to a solution that will reflect the reality of the region. A definitive name for all uses (erga omnes)".
"Unfortunately, however, the Skopje government continues to feed the frenzy of nationalism," Papoulias said, warning that "one does not acquire a historic past by putting up statues", referring to a giant statue of Alexander the Great put up last week in the FYROM capital.
On the Cyprus issue, the Greek president reiterated the pressing need for an end to be put to the Turkish invasion and occupation of the northern part of the island republic and for a viable, functional and European solution to be reached.
Basescu, in turn, voiced understanding and full support for the "tough measures that Greece is obliged to take", adding that Romania is ready to enhance bilateral cooperation to the benefit of both peoples.
He also thanked Papoulias once again for Greece's support to Romania's Euro-Atlantic orientation, and for its stance on the issue of Romania joining the Schengen zone.