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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas to ALPHA TV Station and the TV Show "Alpha Reportage"

The Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas, during a conversation he had on Monday 22 October 2018 at ALPHA TV Station and the "Alpha Reportage" TV Show, among other things mentioned the following:

Regarding the political developments:

In contrast to Europe, here in Greece we have yet to understand and solidify what it means to have a coalition government. A coalition government was formed, including parties with different political and ideological starting points and furthermore during a critical period. Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion. That is what happens in democratic societies. However, the government’s views ought to appear uniform abroad. Those who have a different opinion are entitled to do so, but within the country.

About the government’s majority being in danger:

The Prime Minister’s stance is clear-cut. He is the head of a stable government. Whoever thinks that he/she can cast doubt to our stability as a government, he/she can do it when the opportunity arises in parliamentary proceedings.

The New Democracy party is accusing us of doublespeak at the same time when Ms Spyraki conducted undisclosed meetings with Zaev, while the contacts of the Hellenic Government about the Macedonia Naming Dispute had not even begun. So it is obvious who is characterised by doublespeak and conducts secret activities. The New Democracy party has no national strategy. Its only aim is this government’s dissolution.

Whenever the proceedings for the ratification of the Prespes Agreement begin, the Agreement will receive the necessary votes. Then we will find out what it means to have a coalition government and how it works for the benefit of the state. Whoever is of the opinion that there is no governmental majority then he/she should attend the parliamentary proceedings.

It is proven that aside from nationalistic shouts, all the proposals of the New Democracy party are essentially equal to new memoranda. Pension scheme inspired by Pinochet, labour relations with medieval terms, Single Social Security Entity and VAT according to their terms and notions. We are worlds apart.

We are a government which moves forward with stability and solves the country’s problems. We proved, during a period of crisis, that Greece is currently a pillar of stability for the whole region.

Regarding the Exclusive Economic Zone and Turkey:

There is a dispute between us and Turkey which must be resolved and it concerns the shelf. We will not compromise in any way. We can resolve these issues for the benefit of the Greek society. And not only that, but we can also give this country the opportunity for development. The two pillars are on one hand the end of the memoranda and supervision and on the other hand the arrangement of our national issues to the benefit of our national interests. This is our response.

About the Barbaros:

We monitor the movements of the Barbaros with the proper gravity and we defend our national sovereign rights. Turkey must respect the International Agreements and the stipulations of the Law of the Sea. We keep the channels of communication open and we wish to be persuasive regarding the need for peace.