Athens.- (GreekNewsOnline, ANA)
Following the conclusion of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ Friday briefing of political party leaders on the results of his official visit to the US, the PM’s press office at Maximos Mansion released a statement which said that “the prime minister’s firm intention has always been, and still is, to relate and communicate with all the parties on major issues, especially so on issues of national significance.”
The briefing focused on four issues:
a) Greece as a strategic and credible US partner,
b) New economic and geopolitical conditions in the eastern Mediterranean with Turkey’s diplomatic isolation and the opening of new cooperation opportunities in the defense sector,
c) EastMed pipeline, which along with Greece’s improved economic conditions, open the road for US investments in Greece,
d) Confirmation of the decisive role of the Greek Diaspora in the development of the American economy and society.
Premier Mitsotakis first met with main opposition SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras, followed by his meeting with Movement For Change (KINAL-Kinima Allagis) leader Fofi Gennimata, then with Greek Solution’s Kyriakos Velopoulos and finally with MeRA25’s Yianis Varoufakis.
The PM will hold one last meeting on Monday with the Greek Communist Party’s Secretary General, Dimitris Koutsoumbas.
It was also clarified that during the meeting Mitsotakis presented the government’s multitudinous diplomatic initiatives currently pursued by his government, only twenty hours after his return from the United States and seeking intra-party consensus for a second time in recent months, the statement read.
Regarding the government’s updated electoral law, it was also emphasized that “in the same spirit, he gave party leaders a draft of the new electoral law. On this, he insisted on the elements of proportionality, and at the same time, the need to guarantee governance and political stability.”
SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras asked Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the suspension of the bill on the upgrading of Greece’s defence cooperation with the United States “until tangible support of our sovereign rights is guaranteed.”
“Today, I had the opportunity to talk with Mr Mitsotakis on the regional developments, on the Greek-Turkish issues and on his recent trip to the US,” Tsipras said, noting that he was “concerned” over the “growing tension in the region and mainly for the risk of a new national adventure now that we have come out of the 10-year adventure of the financial crisis.”
“I also stressed his party’s deep concern – and I believe of all the Greek people – with the overwhelming silence during his visit, not only by President Trump but by the entire American leadership, against the most severe escalation of Turkey’s aggressiveness in the last 20 years,” he underlined.
Tsipras also said that “the crucial question for every Greek citizen today, regardless of party preference, is whether our strong allies will press Turkey not to escalate these provocations and will support us, in case the Turkish side steps up these provocations.”
Tsipras also said that SYRIZA would “support the strengthening of the Armed Forces, as we have shown in the past”. “We are expecting, however, some serious documentation of the need to purchase the F-35 in relation to its cost,” he noted.
Movement for Change (KINAL) leader Fofi Gennimata met on Friday with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who briefed her on the latest developments and on his visit to USA.
According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency sources, after the meeting Gennimata told her associates that now she is better informed adding that the national issues and his talks with US President Donald Trump dominated their meeting.
Gennimata also said that they briefly discussed the proposal on the change of the electoral law which Gennimata rejected.
On the national matters and the Turkish aggressiveness, Gennimata made clear and was agreed during her meeting with Mitsotakis, if necessary, to seek legal recourse at International Court of Justice at The Hague on the issue of the continental shelf and the Exclusive Economic Zone.
Speaking to the press after the meeting, KINAL leader said that it is time for understanding; they can’t take us for granted. We must send to the Greeks a message of unity and self-confidence. All our allies should be aware that Greece will defend its national rights in every possible way. Dialogue does not mean discounts.
Asked on the proposal for the change of the electoral law, she said that KINAL will vote against the 50-parliament seat bonus.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday briefed Greek Solution party leader Kyriakos Velopoulos on his US visit, in the framework of providing all party leaders an assessment of his meetings there.
Speaking to reporters, Velopoulos first said how he believes SYRIZA’s rebuff of Greece’s defense cooperation with the US is “hypocritical.”
“We need to open ourselves up to more alliances,” he said, “as there’s also Russia, Germany too, and for some, India is also a rising force,” he added.
“Greece should not be taken for granted by anyone,” noted Velopoulos, “and US President Trump does not respect international law. It is good how Greece is citing international law, but it is unfortunately true that, in the end, the most powerful one enforces one’s will,” he concluded.
MeRA25 party leader Yanis Varoufakis expressed his vertical disagreement on the timing and scope of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ official visit to the US, during his Friday briefing by the prime minister.
“The White House visit took place at the wrong time and was out of context,” said Varoufakis, while “the image of the embarrassed Greek prime minister next to the man responsible for the recent illegal, unethical killing of top Iranian officials in a third country – which has embarrassed even conservative EU leaders – has not helped Greece’s image,” he added.
Varoufakis said how MeRA25 rejects both the current and the previous governments’ overall approach to Greek-American relations, for two reasons: firstly, “because it looks forward to virtual-only benefits,” and secondly, because it “undermines potentially significant benefits and support for our country.”
He also heavily criticized Greece’s “geopolitical attachment and energy reliance to Israel’s far-right chariot, currently represented by Mr. Netanyahu, under the auspices of Mr. Trump,” and also to what he called “ExxonMobil-type companies, undermining the security and development of our country.”
On eastern Mediterranean fossil fuels, Varoufakis said that “even if they do surface without conflict, will have a negative economic effect, as revenues will be absorbed by multinationals and intermediaries,” and he stressed how “the emphasis on hydrocarbons will prevent a focus on integrated renewable energy networks.”
“Trump has emphatically stated that ‘the European Union is an enemy,’ so it is not only inappropriate but also illogical for the Greek governments to be saying ‘yes’ to everything in Brussels and ‘yes’ to everything in Washington!” exclaimed the MeRA25 chief.
Furthermore, “the failure of all of Washington’s commitments to the EU, such as to the nuclear deal with Iran, or to the Kurdish fighters in northern Syria,” he added, are indicative of the fact that, “at a critical moment, both the US and Israel will choose to abandon Greece by coming to a ‘silent’ agreement with Turkey,” he elaborated.
In the context of these considerations, MeRA25 proposed that Greece should appeal to The Hague to resolve all disputes with Turkey, should also call for an international and regional energy network summit in the Mediterranean and the European continent, it should also convene an international summit on the Cyprus issue, with the sole prospect of “a Cyprus without walls, occupying armies and intolerance.”