The following six months are a crucial time period for the EU. Greece, which will hold the Presidency for the fifth time since its accession in 1981, will oversee the completion of the banking union as well as the European Parliament elections in May. While juggling the busy schedule of the rotating Presidency, Greece will also have to handle significant internal developments, such as the local elections 18-15 May and continued negotiations with its international creditors. In Vilnius Greek Prime Minister Samaras explained the priorities of the Greek EU Presidency as “to remove European economies from recession”, “further integration of the EU-Eurozone”, “comprehensive migration management” as well as “redefining EU Maritime Policy”. Greece will spend around €50 million, an amount it can ill-afford, during the Presidency, all the while having its domestic budget scoured by international lenders. “It shall be a Spartan presidency when it comes to the budget and an Athenian one when it comes to values”, EUobserver quotes an official. Is Greece going to be able to anchor the issues it wants to talk about the most at the top of the EU? Will Greece benefit from the attention it receives during the following six? And finally, will the local elections harm or help in the process of taking on EU-level responsibilities?
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