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Statement following a meeting between President Higgins and H.E. President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos

Date: Thu 16th Jan, 2020 | 12:56

Today, Thursday 16 January 2020, President Michael D. Higgins received His Excellency President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, at Áras an Uachtaráin.

On behalf of the people of Ireland, President Higgins welcomed President Pavlopoulos to Ireland, thanking the President for his leadership and his support to Ireland.

This was the fourth meeting between the two Heads of State. The two leaders met previously in Athens, during President Higgins’ State Visit to Greece in February 2018, in Florence in May 2018 and in Athens in October 2019, when President Higgins delivered, at the invitation of President Pavlopoulos, the distinguished Aristotle Address in the city’s ancient Agora.

During their meeting, President Higgins highlighted the long and enduring friendships between our two peoples and the many cultural, economic and social links that exist between the two nations. The President spoke of Greece and Ireland leading a recovery of interest by European States of the importance of cultural and intellectual work that might be shared.

During their meeting, the two Presidents continued their previous discussions on a wide range of issues of mutual concern, including Irish-Greek bilateral relations, the implications of Brexit, and the future of European integration.

The Presidents reflected on the new leaderships of the European Parliament and European Commission, and the need for change of direction in economic policy assumptions and practice.

The discussions also focused on the importance of close cooperation between Dublin and Athens on measures to address the most pressing global challenges, including climate change, inequality, poverty, violent conflict and migration.

President Higgins stressed the importance of linking economic prosperity to greater social cohesion and solidarity within and between countries, the need to deepen deliberative democracy, and the significance of measures to promote greater political-economic literacy among European citizens, which would lead to a more open and pluralist selection of economic options, thus strengthening democracy.