On Thursday, 28 March 2019, during an interview on Alpha TV show "Alpha Reportaz", the Alternate Minister of National Defence, Panagiotis Rigas stated, among others, the following:
On the Minister of National Defence E. Apostolakis' statements:
Mr. Apostolakis said nothing more and nothing less than what the Prime Minister, myself, and the entire government say. The upcoming election in Turkey is related; it is usual for the Turks during such periods to increase tension, in terms of either rhetoric or actions. As violations increase, combined with the inexperience of Turkish pilots, the risk of an accident obviously increases.
Our stance, our message is clear: Our neighbours have no reason, no right, and should not consider themselves to be above International Law and the Law of the Sea. Despite the economic and refugee crisis, we constitute a pillar of stability and security for the region, a region of many and conflicting economic and political interests. Our stance has been acknowledged by all. The position of the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the entire government is clear and concrete: Nothing is conceded and nothing is left at random regarding our sovereign rights. How we achieve this is our conscious choice, which is none other than sobriety, with total competence and effectiveness.
On P. Kokkalis' candidacy and New Democracy's allegations of corruption:
The term corruption implies underground transactions. Mr. Petros Kokkalis has his own personal political course. He is currently a city council member, he has been actively involved for years in the refugee issue and solidarity matters, and he has concrete views and active involvement in matters of environmental protection. So, he publicly and clearly decided to join us for the European Parliament Election, in a broad progressive front against the far right and racism, asking for the Greek people's vote, something usually not characteristic of corruption. It would be comical if it weren't outrageous for New Democracy to accuse SYRIZA of corruption. Or to talk about close relationships of SYRIZA with Mr. Marinakis because, as they say, he talked with the Prime Minister. Why don't they tell us, who has TV stations and newspapers slandering the government day and night and publishing fake news, who pays the rent for New Democracy's party offices in Piraeus, whose best woman is the sister of New Democracy's president? The entire matter is a joke.