Pavlopoulos, Tsipras Receive Visiting Irish President Higgins

Irish President Michael D. Higgins, right and his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos review the Presidential Guard during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS – President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos sent messages to Turkey and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) during his meeting on Thursday with the President of Ireland Michael Higgins at the presidential mansion.

He underlined the need for an end to the austerity polices “that widen social inequality within the European Union and trigger populism.”

Referring to Turkey, Pavlopoulos reiterated that it must respect the European acquis and the international law, underlining that the Lausanne Treaty designating the borders, territory and the sovereignty of both Greece and the EU cannot be reviewed and is absolutely clear, without any trace of any ‘grey zones’. Calling the ‘grey zones’ fabrications, Pavlopoulos noted that Turkey should understand and respect the fact that the time of provocations and especially the invasion of Greek or any European territory is long gone, never to return.

On FYROM, he repeated the need for changes to the country’s Constitution, underlining that whatever name is chosen should not contain a single trace of irredentism in terms of borders, nation or language.

On his part, President Higgins supported President Pavlopoulos’ position for the termination of austerity, adding that mistakes had been made at the expense of the Greek people. He also condemned economic models that have not been tested in society, noting that “we need to link the reality in the EU with a social vision”.

PM TSIPRAS MEETS WITH IRISH PRESIDENT HIGGINS

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras referred to the economic crisis experienced by the Greek and the Irish people, as well as to the need for social cohesion among the countries of Europe, as he received visiting Irish President Michael Higgins at the Maximos Mansion on Thursday.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, shakes hands with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a welcome ceremony at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Tsipras noted that the Greek people perhaps have suffered more in the crisis than the Irish, a remark that President Higgins agreed with.

Higgins said that when he recalled this period, he understood the importance of social Europe and the need for social cohesion between the state members.

The existence of a social Europe is of fundamental importance, Higgins said, adding that there must be close cooperation with the participation of the peoples of Europe. “Restoring trust should be a top priority,” said Higgins.

He also noted that Europeans have a common future and should further deepen their relations at the economic, social and cultural level. “We must do things together,” he said, before the start of a meeting with Tsipras.

Irish President Michael D. Higgins, right and his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos review the Presidential Guard during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Irish President Michael D. Higgins reviews the Presidential Guard with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Irish President Michael D. Higgins reviews the Presidential Guard with his Greek counterpart Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

A military officer adjusts a Presidential guard’s hat before the arrival of the Irish President Michael D. Higgins in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, shakes hands with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, left, shakes hands with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a welcome ceremony in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, right, speaks with the Irish President Michael D. Higgins during a welcome ceremony at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. Higgins is on a two-day official visit to Greece and will meet senior Greek politicians. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)