Greece and Europe with neither tolerate attempts to dispute the Lausanne Treaty nor leave them unanswered, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos said on Saturday. The Greek president was visiting the Aegean island of Limnos to attend celebrations marking the 104th anniversary of the island’s liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912.
Pavlopoulos warned “our friend and neighbour Turkey” that to dispute the Lausanne Treaty was a violation of international law that “irreparably damaged” its standing as a member of the international community. In addition to this, it showed open designs against the borders of both Greece and the European Union, “and for this reason will not be tolerated nor, of course, left unanswered,” he added.
The Greek president noted that Limnos, due to its geographic position, was an important part of Greek territory but also that of the EU. Under European law, which defined European borders as those of its individual member-states, the borders of Greece also coincided with the borders of the EU, he added.
During his visit, President Pavlopoulos was named an honorary citizen of Limnos.
Greece’s diplomacy had gained ground and could now play a leading role in the southeastern Mediterranean as a result of the courageous way that the Greek people had handled the refugee crisis, Alternate Foreign Minister Nikos Xydakis said in an interview with the Athens-Macedonian News Agency on Saturday.
“Its voice is heard, a voice of peace and democracy in an unstable region, it is taking the lead diplomatically in the Southeast Mediterranean with bilateral and trilateral strategic relationships and leading progressive actions in Europe,” he said.
The minister also referred to Greece’s debt, noting that a sustainable debt would be a good message to markets and investors, helping to boost growth and create jobs. “The same is true of unrealistic targets for primary surpluses,” he added, noting that this was no longer denied by anyone – either in Brussels, or Washington, or Frankfurt or Paris – except Berlin.
Asked about the climate within Greece, Xydakis said that the government must reply to “the disappointment and criticism of the citizens with tangible results that improve their daily lives.” The injured self-respect and self-confidence of the Greek people, he added, would only be healed through a “battle with the self-evident…with actions, to form the great democratic faction that the country needs.”