HC Deb 03 December 1980 vol 995 cc261-2
47. Mr. Glimmer

asked the Lord Privy Seal in what ways the Community intends to mark the effective date of accession of Greece and to welcome this further step towards greater unity in free Europe.

Sir Ian Gilmour

I share my hon. Friend's satisfaction at the accession of Greece. We shall welcome the Greeks formally early in the new year. Greek observers are already participating in most Community business.

Mr. Gummer

Does not my right hon. Friend agree that this is the moment not only to welcome the accession of Greece to the EEC, but to point out how attractive the EEC is to other nations, in marked contrast with the Warsaw Pact?

Sir Ian Gilmour

That is true. As the House and my hon. Friend know, not only Greece but Spain and Portugal are seeking to become members of the EEC. As far as I know, no country in Eastern Europe has ever voluntarily applied to join the Warsaw Pact.

Mr. Gwilym Roberts

Does not the Lord Privy Seal accept that in view of the great economic problems of Greece, when it enters the EEC the availability of parts of the small social fund which are desperately needed to aid certain areas of Britain will be even more reduced?

Sir Ian Gilmour

As the hon. Gentleman knows, the arrangements have been made. That is one of the subjects that will be most important in the restructuring exercise of the budget that will take place next year.

Mr. Latham

Will my right hon. Gentleman confirm that no nationals of Greece or Spain will have better rights of admission to this country in future than the people of Gibraltar?

Sir Ian Gilmour

That must almost certainly be right. Yes.