Greece Officially Assumes EU PresidencyWorld | January 8, 2014, Wednesday // 20:15| views
Greek Ministers and official guests pose for a photo in front of the Zappeion Hall in Athens during the ceremony for Greece's EU presidency. Photo by EPA/BGNES
Greece officially assumed the EU's six-month rotational presidency on Wednesday at a ceremony in Athens.
This is the 5th time the country takes the presidency, and surely its most difficult, after being faced with years of economic recession, austerity measures, and high unemployment.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stressed that his country has made great sacrifices along the difficult path to economic recovery, but the worst times were now behind.
"We will work in close cooperation with the European Commission and the European Central Bank in order to achieve a breakthrough in tackling unemployment and fostering economic growth", said Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos.
Among the guests of the ceremony was EC President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Greece has vowed to carefully choose the time to put forth on the EC's agenda Bulgaria and Romania's entrance into the Schengen area.
Another priority of the Greek presidency will be the EU's expansion into the Western Balkans.
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