Prime Minister James Callaghan reiterated Britain's support for Greece's bid to join the European Economic Community during his three-hour talks with Greek Premier Constantine Karamanlis at Downing Street on Wednesday (25 January).
LV PAN Downing Street, London
LV Upper floors of No. 10 Downing Street
SCU PAN INT British Prime Minister James Callaghan and Greek Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis enter room together and pose for photographs
Mr. Karamanlis arrived in London on Wednesday (25 January) at the start of a tour that would take him to Brussels, Paris and Bonn for talks on the Greek application.
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Background: Prime Minister James Callaghan reiterated Britain's support for Greece's bid to join the European Economic Community during his three-hour talks with Greek Premier Constantine Karamanlis at Downing Street on Wednesday (25 January). Mr. Callaghan said Britain would like to see Greece's application treated separately from those of her fellow applicants -- Spain and Portugal.
SYNOPSIS: As the two leaders conferred inside one of Britain's most famous buildings, Mr. Callaghan told his guest he hoped that negotiations on the Greek bid for membership might start after the next meeting of Common Market Foreign Ministers in February. Britain, Mr. Callaghan said, has always regarded Greece as part of Europe. Greece applied for full membership in June 1975, less than a year after the collapse of the seven-year military dictatorship. Formal entry negotiations began in July 1976. Diplomatic sources said Mr. Karamanlis was anxious for renewed backing for early entry, which Britain and other member nations consider desirable for economic and political reasons. The main problem to Greek entry is agriculture. France and Italy are worried here because several items of Greek primary produce are competitive with their own. Britain, however, believes Greece's membership would not pose serious agricultural problems for France and Italy. On the Cyprus dispute, the two Prime Ministers were agreed on the urgent need to find a peaceful and permanent solution that would benefit both the island's Greek and Turkish communities.