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Sánchez stresses to Mitsotakis the urgency of approving European Recovery Plans at this "crucial moment" for the Union

Athens (Greece), Monday 10 May 2021

During the meeting, the two leaders showed great understanding and discussed the state of bilateral relations and European issues of shared interest, such as the European Recovery Plan, the restoration of mobility, the digital green certificate, migration policy, the future of the European Union (EU), and COVID-19.

The Chief Executive stressed that the EU is at a "crucial moment" and pointed out "the urgency of presenting and approving the Recovery Plans", as well as concluding the national ratifications of respective resources and speeding up the arrival of funds.

During the meeting, the two leaders noted that there are many possible synergies between the national recovery strategies of Spain and Greece, which could contribute to the recovery of both countries. "We both advocate a high level of ambition for greater European integration. If the crisis has shown us anything, it is that united we are stronger", stressed Sánchez.

Greece and Spain also share the fact that they are major recipients of tourism. Both support the digital green certificate initiative in order to restore mobility as soon as possible, thus defending European freedoms. On the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, Sánchez conveyed to his counterpart the Spanish Government's support for the territorial integrity of Greece, and stressed the need to resume the high-level dialogue between the EU and Turkey.

Sánchez and Mitsotakis believe that the Mediterranean has a key role to play in the future of Europe, and in particular the southern countries of the EU. The Chief Executive explained that they both consider it necessary "to promote the principles of solidarity, responsibility and humanity in the face of the migration debate; and to develop a strong relationship with the Southern Neighbourhood, which confirms the Mediterranean Sea as an area of peace, dialogue and cooperation".

Spain and Greece together with Italy and Malta presented a non-paper in November 2020 outlining their position on the new European Union Pact on Migration and Asylum and stressing the need to safeguard the balance between solidarity and responsibility.

Sanchez affirmed: "Without a strong and united Mediterranean, there is no Europe. Greece and Spain are determined not to miss this opportunity, to promote change and long overdue transitions. Our countries will be the engine of that change. We are already on track.

The President's trip to Greece concludes this afternoon with his participation in the Delphi Economic Forum, where Sánchez and Mitsotakis will discuss matters of shared interest. The forum, now in its sixth year, is being held in the context of the bicentenary of Greek independence.

Non official translation