Greece blocked the EU statement criticizing the observance of human rights in China. This is reported by Reuters.
It was planned that the EU countries will submit a statement with the agreed position of all member countries at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Council, however, Athens opposed. As the agency notes, this is the first time that the European Union failed to submit a statement to the Human Rights Council. Previously, criticism of China was regularly blocked by Hungary, but at this level this is the first time.
As follows from the statement of the Greek Foreign Ministry, the statement contained "non-constructive criticism of China." "From the point of view of Greece, such an approach is counterproductive," the text says. "In many cases, selective criticism of individual countries does not help improve the human rights situation in these countries and only leads to a deterioration in bilateral relations." According to the press secretary of the Greek Foreign Ministry, there are other EU member states that share this view.
The European Union has already criticized the decision of Greece. One of the diplomatic sources, to which the agency refers, pointed out that Athens blocked the statement despite the decision of the IMF and the EU authorities that agreed to give Greece extra money to deal with the consequences of the financial crisis. "This, at least, is not fair," the agency quotes the diplomat as saying.
Greece is actively developing economic ties with China. In 2016, the Chinese company COSCO Shipping repurchased 51 shares in the largest Greek port of Piraeus.