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European spirit has strengthened after 'difficult years': Merkel

IANS  |  Athens 

German said the European spirit has been strengthened through the management of common challenges and will have a better future through cooperation and not nationalism.

She gave a joint statement to the press with Greek on Thursday at the start of her two-day visit to Athens, reported

"We have been through difficult years. What we have achieved was to strengthen the European spirit," the German stressed during the remarks broadcast by Greek state television ERT.

praised for its achievements despite the difficulties of the recent years of the debt crisis, such as the historic agreement reached last summer for the resolution of the name dispute.

The deal, which is currently in the process of ratification by the parliaments of the Former Yugoslav Republic of (FYROM) and Greece, will benefit the entire Europe, the stressed.

She reiterated Germany's support to Greece's efforts to stand on its feet, noting the need to continue on the path of reform in the post-bailout era.

"Today you are coming to a different Greece, which after many challenges has managed to overcome the crisis and enter the path of growth," the Greek said.

"I believe that is not only gradually exiting the crisis but is turning from part of the problem into part of the solution," the Greek said, underlining that his country is a pillar of stability in a region suffering from destabilisation.

The German chancellor's visit marks the end of a difficult period in bilateral relations, opening new prospects, Tsipras noted, referring to past differences regarding the way to address the Greek debt crisis, which was overcome through compromises.

He also stressed the need for closer cooperation in finding solutions to more problems as faces more challenges, like the rise of the populist far-right.

The leaders also highlighted the need to establish a comprehensive European migration and asylum policy to deal with the refugee-migrant crisis, which has also tested the EU in recent years.

During the meeting at the prime minister's office, police used tear gas to disperse leftist and far-right protesters who held two different demonstrations against the chancellor's visit.

"We are here to protest against Merkel's visit. She came indeed to check what the entire EU leadership has created in We are against and we demand that our country be liberated from the shackles of the EU and the debt load," Nikos Adamopoulos, one of the leftist protesters, told Xinhua.

The German is scheduled to hold a meeting with Greek and main opposition leader on Friday before departing from

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, January 11 2019. 03:28 IST
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