The celebration of the National Day of the Hellenic Republic, on the 25th of March, provides us with the pleasure to extend, on behalf of Romania, our heartfelt congratulations to all the Greek people.
Usually referred to as the cradle of the European civilization and the birthplace of democracy, Greece could be called in many ways. It is the land of the light blue nuances of sky and waters, sophisticated and sometimes eccentric ancient philosophers, well known myths and legends and great gastronomy appreciated all over the world. The Greek worldwide culture and spirituality gave us immortal names of Nikos Kazantzakis and its emblematic Zorba, the unique Maria Callas and the talented filmmaker Elia Kazan that enriched the universal heritage with their genius touch.
Living together in the same region, facing similar challenges of history and fate, deeply influencing one another in mind and spirit, Romania and Greece followed similar paths in their struggle for liberty, dignity and equal rights. Not only once our ancestors, empowered by their own courage and determination, brought together resources and enthusiasm to create a better and prosperous world for themselves and for the next generations.
Nowadays politic and diplomatic dialogue is translated into a substantial and permanent exchange of views, reliable commitments and mutual trust, following the tradition of over a century of diplomatic relations.
The high-level quadrilateral meetings of Romania, Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia along with the bilateral consultations among these countries have the main goal to open doors towards more and valuable projects in the benefit of all our citizens.
There is also much interest from both countries in further developing economic and sectoral cooperation. The Fifth session of the Romanian – Greek consultations on Economic Cooperation that took place in Athens on 15th of February this year, resumed the longstanding and dynamic economic exchanges. Also, this meeting provided the perfect occasion to explore new areas of common interest that goes hand in hand with the European programs and strategies for growth and investments, therefore creating premises for working together on mobility, interconnectivity, trade and innovative areas.
In figures, the statistics on the bilateral trade say that, in the first 10 months of 2018, amounted to 1645,20 million EUR, being increased by 13,50% compared to the same period of 2017. During this time, Romanian exports to Greece reached the amount of 857,57 million EUR, 17.18% more than the same period of 2017, while imports from Greece to Romania increased by 9,75% and reached the amount of 787,62 million EUR.
Beyond all these achievements, our relation would not be a truly successful one without an integral part of it, which is the Romanian community living and working in Greece, as well as the community of Greeks in Romania. We have to thank the Greek authorities for their constructive and continuous support for preserving the identity of the Romanians, by education, culture and religious means. An example in this respect is the setting up and functioning of the Lectorate for Romanian Language at the University Democritus of Thracia in Komotini that offers extended opportunities for Romanian studies to all the interested ones.
In the specific context given by the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, cooperation with Greece enables the cohesion and unity principles with a practical value and offers perspectives for bringing valuable ideas into the European project. Because a better and stronger Europe needs all its members on board. It requires working with passion for shaping a European model of tolerance, cooperation and problem solving and, more than ever, needs commitment towards a future together.
Greece is an example in this sense. Along with the Republic of North Macedonia it offers us a remarkable model of regional cooperation and reconciliation by the the historic resolution of the name dispute through the adoption and the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, thus strengthening their bilateral ties and looking forward towards their relations.
Tracing back our common history, beliefs and aspirations, we have to bring together our creative energies to overcome the unexpected evolutions and be able to give proper response to the next challenges of our region. Because Romania and Greece sail together in search for some new and long lasting valuable horizons.
Happy National Day, Greece!