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    Greece expects to become a full member of the European Common Market by next summer.?

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    Greece expects to become a full member of the European Common Market by next summer. This timing was announced on Saturday (September 9) by Greek Premier Constantine Karamanlis, who said Greece could not afford to remain outside a united Europe. Justifying his Government's decision to speed up negotiations for full membership, he said developments in Western Europe indicated that today's economic communities would gradually transform into political organisations.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr.Karamanlis made his announcement at the opening of the forty-third International Trade Fair in Salonica, where he received a warm welcome from the crowds. Twenty countries are taking part officially in this year's Fair, including several European nations. Joining such Common Market partners, said Mr.Karamanlis, would strengthen Greece's democratic institutions and fortify its national independence.

    The Soviet Union and China are also represented at Salonica this year, and Mr Karamanlis had a warning for the people of the Balkans. In what observers saw as a reference to Sino-Soviet diplomatic strategies in the Balkans, he said that only through a true and friendly co-operation could the danger of antagonism in the area be faced successfully.

    There was some good news for the trade-fair crowds on the state of the economy. Despite the demands of the country's defence requirements because of its dispute with Turkey on territorial rights in the Aegean, the nation's foreign currency situation remained strong, Mr.Karamanlis said. A six percent increase in real national income was expected this year and - while remaining a problem - inflation would be kept below last year's rate of twelve point eight percent.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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