“We are true neighbors,” stated Greek ambassador in Sofia, Thrasyvoulos Stamatopoulos, in regards to the Greek-Bulgarian relationship in an interview with Bulgarian newspaper Standard.
According to Mr Stamatopoulos, Bulgaria and Greece came closer to each other especially when Bulgaria entered the European Union. The two neighboring countries have developed financial, political and tourist relationships, cooperating and supporting each other in every occasion needed.
“We are true neighbors and the difficulties of one affect the other. Both countries have faced a challenging situation at one time and thus, they should make decisions in full responsibility taking everything into consideration. But I believe that any difficulties that arise could be overcome should the two Balkan countries come even closer,” said Greek ambassador.
Mr Stamatopoulos stressed also the fact that Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev’s visit to his Greek counterpart is proof that Bulgaria and Greece have developed lengthy extensions of support.
“We could collaborate even more to give a boost to tourism, infrastructure and energy works, trade and exports but also to treat terrorism and crimal gangs that put our citizens’ lives in danger,” added Mr Stamatopoulos.
As for Greece’s possible euro exit, the Greek ambassador comments that such media reports never proved to be correct. “Greece never asked to exit the eurozone and most Greeks wish to stay in the common currency.”
Questioned on the existence of xenophobic feelings in Greece, Mr Stamatopoulos replied that the Greek state is trying to deal with illegal immigration in Greece. “Even though not the only reason, criminality has increased due to illegal immigrants,” concludes the ambassador in Sofia but adds that “many of these people are exhausted and unhappy but are in the pursuit of a better future.”