The Greek government is hoping to create a southern EU alliance for a vote in order to relocate a London-based EU agency to Germany’s Frankfurt after Brexit.
Deputy Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos said he has contacted other European Union member states to form a united camp in the voting process to move European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Frankfurt.
The German city is one of 19 bids to host the EMA when Britain unshackles itself from Brussels. Athens was primarily among them, before the government apparently changed its mind.
Eurocrats will have to lay off about 72 UK nationals working at the EMA and the European Banking Authority (EBA) because it can only employ people from member states.
Mr Katrougalos said the southern member states had been active in forming alliances, but admitted discussions could be “very difficult politically”.
But he said the Greek backing to move the EMA to Frankfurt is “complete” and has “good chances”. He told politics news site Politico: “The idea is to vote among us in the first round to have more possibilities to pass to the second.”
But Margarida Marques, the Portuguese State Secretary for European Affairs, said the bloc’s southern countries were better positioned to host the EMA.
She said: “Officials from the EMA prefer to go to the south more than the north because the weather and the food are better.