PM Borissov: Population, GDP of Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia Should Not Be Underestimated

December 22 - (BTA Special Correspondent Hristo Vodenov) - Emerging from a high-level quadrilateral meeting here on Saturday between Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and Serbia, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov told journalists that such meetings are in conformity with the EU's main policy for development, prosperity and GDP growth. These four countries are not to be underestimated in view of their population and GDP, and they have huge potential for development through infrastructural projects, he also said.

"Our potential is not directed at anyone else - we are ready to admit to our infrastructural projects everyone who wishes to join," Borissov told journalists. "The EU and the world need positive examples of peace and understanding, and problems should be solved with diplomacy and a tolerant tone," he went on to say. He recalled that Bulgaria recently launched a public procurement procedure for gas pipes and for the Balkan Gas Hub, that the country is working on a liquefied gas connection with Greece, and that the prospecting for natural gas in the Black Sea continues. "I hope that we will be on the same team when it comes to gas connections," he added.

"I am grateful to [Greek Prime Minister] Alexis Tsipras for the migration process, because if there is anything that could topple the Balkans, it is the migration process. Unfortunately, the progress made in this sphere during the Austrian EU Council Presidency is not as big as I wished it to be, and I hope that Romania will do more [during its EU Presidency]," Borissov said.

Serbian President Alexandar Vucic told journalists that he is very grateful to Borissov, his team and Bulgaria as a whole for their work on the status of the Western Balkans. Vucic also thanked the Greek Prime Minister for the support his country gives to Serbia. The EU integration of Serbia and the other countries in the region should continue, Vucic said, adding that this would improve the infrastructural connectivity in the Balkans.

The four countries' leaders also talked about the finalization of sections of the transport corridors in the Balkans, Vucic said. The next high-level quadrilateral meeting will take place in Romania, he specified.

Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila said that Saturday's meeting was the sixth high-level quadrilateral meeting. In her words, it focused on important topics in the area of trade relations, development of infrastructure, energy, tourism, and sport. "We want to improve the connections in the region," she added.

During the Romanian EU Council Presidency, Bucharest will continue to assist the Western Balkans on their path to the EU, Dancila said. The participants in the meeting also discussed the EU's Common Security and Defence Policy, Cohesion Policy, Common Agricultural Policy, and migration and asylum policy, she told reporters.

The Greek Prime Minister said that the Balkans can serve as a bridge for stability not just in this region. In his words, they focus on economic prosperity, which is linked to EU enlargement. Tsipras expressed hope that Romania will accept the torch on this topic. MY/DS

Source: Belgrade