German Ambassador talks up bilateral relations on refugee crisis and economy

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Germany's Ambassador to Greece, Jens Ploetner talked up relations between Greece and Germany during an interview on Sunday with Greek news agency ANA, highlighting the importance of close cooperation in dealing with refugee crisis.

"The close cooperation between Athens and Berlin was always an important prerequisite for the stabilisation of the situation" underlined Ploetner noting that "even today we are standing side by side to find a European solution to this issue with the fair allocation of the burden among all the EU state members. This is our common position, the Greek-German position."

On the economy, Ploetner said that as long as Greece is over 3.5 pct in primary surplus there is room for active policies. It is up to the Greek government to decide where it will channel the money, said to ANA the German envoy. "I believe that all the measures that create room for business activities, create new job positions and bring more revenues to the state, through increasing development, are very positive."

Ploetner characterised "big success the conclusion of the programme, an important landmark" noting in parallel that "all understand that there is still a long way to be covered".

In his interview on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki Summit, the German Ambassador admitted that the course of the Greek-German relations in the period of the crisis was difficult as "bad things were said from both sides including my country" but all these "are now behind us."

Ploetner also referred to the upcoming European elections stating that "maybe they are the most important elections because the citizens will be called to decide if they will vote for the friendly-European parties."

"There are many ways for someone to build Europe but the basic should be to 'attack' the major problems of the society together and to see if the European citizens will vote for parties that believe that each state can do better alone. My government believes that this is the wrong way. Cooperation is the best way" said the German envoy.

Concluding he underlined that "the citizens should be fully aware of their choice and remind ourselves what we owe to the European Union and that we jointly decide if we want to defend the European way of life."