Sweden’s Ambassador to Greece, E. Johan Borgstam, said that “we expect the final number of arrivals to be close to the 800,000 registered in 2019”, in an interview with AMNA during a tourism discussion.
Asked at the Delphi Forum, which takes place from April 6 to 9, what is the state of relations between Greece and Sweden, as well as the prospects for deepening their cooperation, he said that “Greece and Sweden enjoy a friendly and stable relationship.”
“Political, cultural and business ties are strong and continue to evolve,” he added.
Regarding investment interest on behalf of Sweden for Greece and in which sectors, the Ambassador replied: “The Hellenic-Swedish Chamber of Commerce is the sixth largest Chamber of Commerce in Greece.
“A chapter of the chamber in Stockholm was opened in 2021. This reflects the strong interest that Swedish companies have in the Greek market. Companies such as Atlas-Copco, INTRUM, Ericsson, H&M, ABB, SKF, Volvo, IKEA, Electrolux – to name a few – have significant operations in Greece,” he continued.
In May this year, the Hellenic-Swedish Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Embassy, will organize the 7th edition of the “Greece-Sweden Business Forum” in Athens.
The theme of the forum is “Climate Action”.
Swedish companies are impressed with Greece’s ambitious green transition plan for recovery and resilience and are, with their know-how and cutting-edge technology, well placed to contribute.
As for his estimates and indications regarding the arrivals this year of Swedish tourists in Greece, he said he hoped that the final number of arrivals would be close to the 800,000 recorded in 2019.
Asked what the Russian invasion of Ukraine means for Sweden, he replied: “The brutal and unprovoked aggression of the Russian Federation against Ukraine is characterized by indiscriminate violence against civilians. He broke the peace in Europe.
“President Putin is trying to deprive the Ukrainian people of a free and democratic future. Our position is clear: the European security order is not negotiable.
“Defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is essential for the security of Europe as a whole.
When asked if Sweden would like to join NATO in the coming years, the Ambassador said: “Ukraine, like Sweden and all other states, has the right to make its own choices in matters security policy. These are fundamental aspects of international law and the European security order.
“All states have a duty to respect each other’s sovereignty,” he added.
Regarding the emerging challenges for security and stability in the EU and whether the development of a common European defense can be the answer, he said:
“The prevailing security situation in the world underlines the need for a strong EU which contributes to the promotion of peace and security in Europe and in the world.
“Sweden participates in EU military training missions in Mali, Somalia and the Central African Republic. The endorsement on 22 March by EU Defense and Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU Strategic Compass was crucial.
“The strategic compass will strengthen EU security and defense cooperation with its partners. It sets the direction for the next few years and that is important, especially in light of Russia’s unprovoked aggression against Ukraine.
Regarding EU-Turkey relations and Turkish challenges against Greece, he said:
“Sweden supports the conclusions adopted last year by the European Council in which the EU’s strategic interest in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the development of a cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Turkey has been underlined.
“De-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean is of paramount importance.
“As indicated at the time, the EU stands ready to engage with Turkey in a progressive, proportionate and reversible manner to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest, subject to the established conditionalities set out above. “
READ MORE: WWII: The forgotten story of Sweden’s aid to Greece.