Letter: A Greek contribution to Europe

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The Independent Online
Sir: Being beastly to the Greeks seems to have developed into a favourite Fleet Street pastime of late. Your leading article (5 January), true to fashion, does justice neither to Greece nor to the European Union.

Your comments are singularly unBritish in that they are demonstrably unfair. We are not judged on performance but prejudged on spurious evidence. Age and health have not prevented leaders in recent history from imaginative and constructive governance. The examples of Winston Churchill, Konrad Adenauer and Franklin Roosevelt spring to mind. Furthermore, Greece, though occasionally vexed by some of her partners' policies, has made it repeatedly clear that she will not use the presidency in order to promote her own national views in the Balkans conundrum. How often must one repeat this?

Finally, there is significantly less political corruption in Greece than elsewhere in Europe. The allegation that a 'substantial proportion of subsidies from Brussels is believed to drift into private pockets', is libellous, unsubstantiated and a slur on the European Commission, which is duty-bound to control the use of even the last ecu.

In conclusion, we will, with your permission, confound the various gloomy Cassandras and do our best to make the first presidency of the European Union a successful one.

Yours faithfully,


Press Counsellor

Embassy of Greece

London, W11