ATHENS, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday urged for focus on growth and social cohesion in EU's 2018 budget, during a meeting with European Commissioner for Budget and Human Resources Gunther Oettinger in Athens.
Oettinger visited Greece to exchange views with Greek officials on the EU's post-Brexit multi-year budget which will be submitted in 2018, as part of consultations among member states across Europe.
"I think this is a crucial discussion. It is necessary to try to plan our common future and first of all to try to cover the gaps and correct everything that does not go well," the Greek Premier said, according to Greek national broadcaster ERT.
The European Union should put emphasis on policies aimed to address "inequalities and heal social wounds to create convergence", he added.
"I would say 2018 is the last normal budget. Business as usual. New responsibilities, priorities, migration, refugees, border control and protection and so on," Oettinger said, stressing that the EU should be well prepared to tackle future challenges and the Brexit at the end of March 2019.
"United together we have a significant special weight. We have our values regarding the promotion of peace, democracy and social policy," the official noted, addressing the Greek parliament's committees on European Affairs and Budget, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
Oettinger presented Greek MPs his draft proposal for the 2018 EU multi-year budget, underlining that it is based on four main pillars: competitiveness, sustainability, solidarity and security.
The European Commissioner expressed optimism that the dialogue which has started throughout the EU will soon lead to a realistic and ambitious draft budget which will be unanimously sealed by member-states.