Greece’s Foreign Minister George Katrougalos sent an official letter to his British counterpart Jeremy Hunt on Wednesday. In it, the foreign minister informed Great Britain of Greece’s stance in case the UK leaves the European Union on March 29 without an agreement with Brussels.
Katrougalos noted that Greece will greatly miss the UK, as it was part of the common European family for decades. The Greek Foreign Minister emphasized Greece’s determination to continue the longstanding cooperation between the two countries.
Katrougalos wrote in his letter to the UK’s Foreign Office that the best way for Great Britain to leave the EU would be with an agreement which would secure an orderly exit, without major disruptions.
However, if this does not happen, Katrougalos’ letter notes that ”Greek and UK citizens who chose to live, study and work in each others’ countries will continue to do so without obstacles.” The official correspondence also notes that they “will fully enjoy similar, if not identical, rights as before the British withdrawal.”
The Greek Foreign Minister added that ”the British citizens already living in Greece are welcome, valued and an important bridge of friendship between our two countries.” He reassured them that ”their rights will be fully recognized and guaranteed, in line with the reciprocity offered by the UK to EU citizens.”
The Greek government’s assurance on the status of Britons in Greece was warmly welcomed by the British Ambassador to Greece, Kate Smith. The ambassador posted on Twitter that she is ”delighted that the Greek Government has confirmed that in the event of no deal, the rights of UK nationals already living in Greece will be fully recognized and guaranteed.”
Delighted that the Greek Government has confirmed that in the event of no deal the rights of UK nationals already living in Greece will be fully recognized and guaranteed, in line with the reciprocity offered by the UK to EU citizens. https://t.co/APsJdH1jxc
— Kate Smith (@KateSmithFCO) February 19, 2019
According to available data from several sources, the number of Britons who are living permanently in Greece is approximately 20,000; the number of Greek citizens who reside permanently in the UK is approximately 50,000.