Greek diplomatic sources categorically denied for a second time on Friday a Financial Times report which claimed that Greece had blocked calls for sanctions against Venezuela after diplomatic talks in Brussels.
According to the sources, the report contains “false information that creates false impressions and distorts the truth”, adding that domestic news reports that “reproduce inaccuracies referring to alleged sanctions and a Greek veto are totally unsubstantiated.”
“In fact, during her speech at the meeting [in Brussels], the Greek representative did not even refer to the issue of sanctions, which were not included in the points examined during the negotiations over the EU Declaration. The [final] statement, eventually, as the ones before that, was issued by the EU’s High Representative in the name of the entire European Union,” the sources said.
They also said that despite the ministry’s written rebuttal of the FT article on Thursday the paper never published its statement or corrected the printed article.
The FT said in a story published on its website said Greece had “strongly resisted Spain’s demands [to impose sanctions against Venezuela], effectively ruling out the immediate prospect of European sanctions that cannot go ahead without unanimous support from member states,” Greek diplomatic sources told amna.gr.
The European Union on Wednesday declined to recognize the result of Venezuela’s violence-marred election and said it was ready to “gradually step up” pressure on leftist President Nicolas Maduro, though shied away from introducing sanctions.
The European Union’s top diplomat Federica Mogherini said in a statement that the bloc’s 28 member states could not recognize the Constituent Assembly “as they have concerns over its effective representativeness and legitimacy”.
Venezuela jailed two leading Maduro critics on Tuesday in a fresh blow to the opposition after deadly protests erupted around Sunday’s election, prompting the United States to impose sanctions on the president.
Washington and the EU tend to coordinate their sanctions but the bloc has been divided over how to respond.
It would need unanimity to act. Spain has been the most vocal in advocating sanctions but others have mostly been coy.
The head of the bloc’s common parliament, Antonio Tajani, on Tuesday joined those calling for Maduro to be punished.