July 12, 2019 / 9:44 AM / 5 days ago

Greece recognises Venezuela's Guaido, in line with EU

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, who many nations have recognized as the country's rightful interim ruler, attends a session of Venezuela's National Assembly in Caracas, Venezuela July 9, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece will follow the European Union’s line and recognise Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday, in an about-face after the new conservative government took power.

“The government of the Hellenic Republic warmly supports the EU’s efforts ... aimed at reaching a peaceful, democratic solution to the crisis for the benefit of the Venezuelan people,” the ministry said.

Greece’s previous leftist-led government had refrained from recognising Guaido, who in January proclaimed a rival presidency in Venezuela until a new election could be held, in a challenge to president Nicolas Maduro.

Maduro, who took office in 2013 after the death of his mentor Hugo Chavez, has overseen an economic collapse that has left swathes of once-wealthy Venezuela without reliable access to power, water, food and medicines.

Most Western nations have said Maduro’s reelection last year was rigged.

Reporting by George Georgiopoulos; Editing by Janet Lawrence

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