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Receiving President Bērziņš of Latvia

Brussels -
Wednesday 12/10/2011

The President of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, made the following statement after today's meeting with President of Latvia Andris Bērziņš:

"I am very glad to welcome President Bērziņš today on his first official visit to the European Parliament. I would like to congratulate him on his election in July and on this week's break-through in the formation of a new coalition government.

I truly admire what Latvia has achieved in such a short time. In only two years, Latvians have changed their country tremendously. They managed to overcome the deepest recession an EU member state had ever to face. The resilience and determination of all Latvians to support hard but necessary austerity measures serves today as example for other member states.

We exchanged our views about the future of energy supplies in the Baltic States and beyond. I underlined the need for a European Energy Community, which I proposed last year with Jacques Delors, for connecting energy islands like the Baltic States to the rest of the EU and for finally creating a fully integrated internal European energy market.

The Eastern Partnership and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy were also important topics of our discussion. I am deeply impressed by the European convictions of the Latvian people and I hope Latvia will be able to join the Euro zone in 2014.

I asked President Bērziņš about the formation of the new governing coalition in Latvia and I expressed my hope and confidence that the new Latvian government will remain fully committed to the fundamental values of the European Union, including respect for minority rights, non-discrimination and tolerance.

Latvia has gone through very hard times recently, but Latvians can count on the solidarity of the EU for consolidating the economic recovery and for achieving prosperity."


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