September 23, 2008

Greek & Italian presidents meet

Posted at 12:59 pm in Elgin Marbles

Greek president Karolos Papoulias has met with his Italian counterpart. What is relevant about this though, is that for the first time in any English language press (it has previously been covered in the Greek media) it notes that the Palermo fragment of the Parthenon frieze is going to be returned.

Athens News Agency

Papoulias meets Italian president

President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias on Tuesday met with his visiting Italian counterpart Giorgio Napolitano.

Papoulias particularly thanked Napolitano for the gesture of the return of a fragment of the Parthenon frieze from Palermo, which he said acquired particular gravity at a time when Greece was seeking the return of the Parthenon Marbles from the British Museum.

He further noted the aspirations for the operation of a Greek Archaeological School in Rome.

Papoulias also noted that he and Napolitano reviewed developments in the Cyprus issue and the Balkans, adding that they had both stressed the need for completion of the process of ratification of the Lisbon Treaty ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2009.

Napolitano, in turn, recalled that he had met with Papoulias a year ago on the island of Cephallonia, where the two Presidents attended a memorial in honor of those who fought against Nazism, and stressed the excellent relations between the two countries that go far back in history.

The Italian President further expressed his certainty of further development of bilateral relations, and referred particularly to the joint activities of the two countries in the field of energy, while also stressing the need for immediate ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

Napolitano also spoke of the need for the European Union to acquire a single voice, noting that completion of the Lisbon process was necessary before the EU went ahead with a new enlargement.

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