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Politics

Greek Parliament Ratifies EU Agreements with African, Asian Countries

February 3, 2021

ATHENS — Greek Parliament ratified agreements of the EU with with Ghana, Singapore, Vietnam and with the signatory countries on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in the EU-Southern African Development Community (SADC), on Wednesday.

The ratification bill was tabled by the Foreign Affairs Ministry and approved in principle by ruling New Democracy and opposition SYRIZA and Movement for Change (KINAL), while the Communist Party and MeRA25 turning it down. Greek Solution voted "present".

Ratified were the following, specifically:

– The Intermediate Economic Partnership Agreement between Ghana and the EU member states

– The Investments Protection Agreement between the EU member states and Singapore, Vietnam and EPAs of the SADC.

The agreements relate to duty-free and quota-free access to exports and imports between the countries and the EU, and to investments.

"Essentially, the development of multilateral relations through the European Union as well strenghtens the role of Greece," Alternate Foreign Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said. "Through these four agreements we open a huge window to 230 million people and provide access to exports and investments in rapidly developing countries with which the EU has a total volume of bilateral trade amounting to nearly 130 billion euros," he added, underlining that "Greek products with designation of origin are fully protected."

He added that the agreements "allow the EU to exercise its great weight toward agreements on returning migrants, putting an end to the vacuum that currently exists for those who do not qualify for asylum."

As main opposition SYRIZA MP George Katrougalos also noted, "Whoever does not understand that these countries are too far away and does not understand they are upcoming economic powers [exhibits] an unforgivable provincialism."

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