German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced on Friday she will be paying a farewell official visit to Greece on October 28-29, coinciding with the national holiday of Oxi Day.
The visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to Athens on October 28 and 29 is “an important sign of the close – and in the spirit of trust – cooperation between the two countries, including in the European context,” Deputy Speaker of the German Federal Government Ulrike Demmer said.
She added that there are many issues of common interest, such as addressing the challenges of climate, health and migration, in which Germany and Greece are working closely together.
Merkel will have dinner with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday (28/10) evening. She will also meet Mitsotakis on Friday morning (29/10) at the Maximos Mansion. A joint press conference is scheduled afterward at 12:30.
During the meeting with the Greek prime minister, bilateral relations, European and international policy issues and economic cooperation will be discussed, Demmer said.
The Chancellor, on Friday, will also be received by the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and meet with the new representatives of Civil Society.
Last week, Merkel visited Turkey where she met with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The German Chancellor quelled any fears about future relations between the countries by expressing that the incoming government, which will be formed from a coalition by multiple political parties, would continue the goodwill.
“We always have common interests, and that’s how the next federal government will see it,” Merkel stated during her visit.
Merkel receives praise for EU leaders
Merkel has been receiving praise from European leaders on Friday as she attended what is likely her last EU summit after a 16-year reign heavily influencing the bloc through major ups and downs.
Merkel has attended a staggering 107 EU summits that saw some of the biggest twists in recent European history, including the eurozone debt crisis, an inflow of Syrian refugees, Brexit and the creation of the bloc’s landmark pandemic recovery fund.
“She is someone who for 16 years has really left her mark on Europe, helping all 27 of us to take the right decisions with a lot of humanity at times that were difficult,” said Belgian Prime Minister Alexandre De Croo.
Luxembourg’s Prime Minister Xavier Bettel called Merkel a “compromise machine” who “usually did find something to unite us” through several marathon intra-EU negotiations. “Europe will miss her,” he said.
Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda said he hoped Merkel, a “great politician,” would remain on the political scene “in one form or another.”
Angela Merkel not popular in Greece
According to the Pew Research Center, the departing German Chancellor has been rated positively in almost all of the 16 advanced economies surveyed in North America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
However, Greece stands out as the nation where Merkel’s work is rated negatively by seven out of 10 Greeks.
Along with its Chancellor, the majority of Greeks do not have a positive view of the nation of Germany in regard to its overall influence in the European Union.
Specifically, only 30 percent of respondents in Greece believe in Merkel to do right in global affairs and only 32 percent have a favorable view of Germany.
Related: German Chancellor Merkel Exits with Good Reviews — But Not from Greece