- Title: German foreign minister says Austrian poll result a good sign against populism
- Date: 4th December 2016
- Summary: ATHENS, GREECE (DECEMBER 4, 2016) (REUTERS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** EXTERIOR OF GREEK FOREIGN MINISTRY GREEK, GERMAN AND EU FLAGS GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER, NIKOS KOTZIAS, AND GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, WALKING UP STEPS AND SHAKING HANDS KOTZIAS AND STEINMEIER WALKING INSIDE MINISTRY KOTZIAS AND STEINMEIER SHAKING HANDS AND SITTING FOR MEETING STEINMEIER LISTENING TO KOTZIAS KOTZIAS LISTENING STEINMEIER AND KOTZIAS TALKING AND LAUGHING STEINMEIER AND KOTZIAS ON PODIUMS AT JOINT NEWS CONFERENCE (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, SAYING: (APPROXIMATE TRANSLATION THROUGH OFFICIAL INTERPRETER) "If this is the result, this would be a good sign against populism in Europe. I am particularly happy to receive this news at the cradle of democracy, in Greece." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN FOREIGN MINISTER, FRANK-WALTER STEINMEIER, SAYING: (APPROXIMATE TRANSLATION THROUGH OFFICIAL INTERPRETER) "Fourteen days ago I was there (in Turkey) and I held talks with the foreign minister, the prime minister and the country's president for migration and internal policy issues. And of course we also expressed our own position on the Lausanne treaty, our consistent position, that the Lausanne treaty can not be doubted by anyone." STEINMEIER AND KOTZIAS ON PODIUMS (SOUNDBITE) (Greek) GREEK FOREIGN MINISTER, NIKOS KOTZIAS, SAYING: "Italy and its stability are of key importance to Europe. The government's stability in Italy can only benefit the European Union's relations with Italy and Greece's relations with Italy." KOTZIAS AND STEINMEIER SHAKE HANDS AND WALK AWAY KOTZIAS AND STEINMEIER LEAVING
- Embargoed: 19th December 2016 19:43
- Keywords: Greece Germany Steinmeier Kotzias Austria presidential election Turkey Italy
- Location: ATHENS, GREECE
- City: ATHENS, GREECE
- Country: Greece
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BGXIKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday (December 4) hailed the defeat of a far-right candidate in Austria's presidential election, saying it was a positive outcome against a wave of populism.
"If this is the result, this would be a good sign against populism in Europe," he told reporters through an interpreter after a meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias. "I am particularly happy to receive this news at the cradle of democracy, in Greece."
Norbert Hofer, the candidate vying to become Europe's first freely elected far-right head of state since World War Two, conceded defeat in Austria's presidential election to former Greens leader Alexander Van der Bellen soon after polls closed on Sunday evening.
In Athens on a two-day official visit, Steinmeier also urged Greece's neighbour, Turkey, to avoid rhetoric casting doubt on a treaty that set the maritime and land borders between the two countries.
Europe's deteriorating relations with Turkey, a buffer against the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, are endangering a deal which helped to significantly reduce a migrant influx of more than 1.3 million people arriving in Europe last year.
Commenting on Italy's crucial referendum on constitutional reform, that will decide the political future of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Kotzias said that stability in Italy was of key importance for the European Union.
"The government's stability in Italy can only benefit the European Union's relations with Italy and Greece's relations with Italy."
Financial markets and Europe's politicians fear victory for the opposition 'No' camp could cause political instability and renewed turmoil for Italy's battered banks, pushing the eurozone towards a fresh crisis.
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