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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis  Rigas on AlphaTV

The Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas, during a discussion on ALPHA TV on Tuesday, 29 January 2019, stated, among other things:

Regarding the Armed Forces leadership evaluations:

It has been two years since the last leadership evaluations. The evaluations took place in a fair and just manner and all those appointed are very competent Officers. Obviously, at the top of the pyramid, there are Officers who have been through this procedure before, who have been selected all these years, and no one had any objections. Some of them will even reach the top. Not everyone can manage that. I consider all Officers competent. Some had to be selected. It is not possible for all Second Lieutenants to become Chiefs. Some will retire; the Officer lists have to be renewed. We have to trust the new leadership of the Armed Forces. I clearly offer you an explanation: There is the Government Council on Foreign Affairs and National Defence, the Joint Chiefs of General Staff Council, which makes choices. There are criteria. All these Officers have been evaluated and are competent Generals; they have been in command of powerful units and have great experience with regard to the Armed Forces and critical areas. So, there is nothing to lower the combat effectiveness of the Armed Forces, in terms of leadership. All the more so, they are highly esteemed in the Armed Forces. Among the most competent, the best are selected.

Regarding the Turkish provocativeness with regard to Imia:

There is no worry or fear. It is a usual activity, taking place all these years. Turkey escalates its rhetoric from time to time and potentially its actions too. We have clearly stated that we will not be carried away by this tension. The Armed Forces are ready to defend our sovereign rights in a tough way, against any challenge of our country’s integrity. What we remind Turkey is that such choices, rhetoric, or practices do not contribute to the peaceful co-existence and economic growth of the region. There is no worry. The Armed Forces are really strong, peaceful, and have the deterrent capability. This is the message we send.