Venizelos to Visit Egypt in September

Evangelos-Venizelos-007Greece’s Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister/PASOK Socialist leader Evangelos Venizelos is planning to visit the strife-torn Egypt in September on the invitation of Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nabil Fahmy.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Badr Abdelatty said the counterparts will “discuss bi-lateral relations between the two countries, as well as a number of regional and international issues of common interest,” but didn’t say what they were or what role Greece can play in Egypt.

“The visit will also deal with ways of strengthening cooperation between Egypt and the EU in light of Greece assuming the rotating presidency of the EU in January 2014,” he reported. The statement added that Greece “fully supports the aspirations of the Egyptian people” and is “in favor of the 30 June revolution.”

The increased violence in Egypt has seen more than 1000 killed within two weeks, assassinations in North Sinai and Coptic Orthodox churches and properties attacked and set ablaze. The violence has prompted international condemnation, with many calling on the Egyptian security forces to exercise restraint.

Venizelos was given prominent positions in the government of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative leader who needed him to establish a coalition that would give the administration a five-seat majority in the 300-member Parliament and as a reward for backing pay cuts, tax hikes, slashed pensions, the firing of public workers and foreclosing on the homes of Greeks who’ve been unable to afford mortgage payments because of austerity measures.