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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview by the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis  Rigas on Athina 984 Radio

In an interview he gave on 16 October 2019 on ATHINA 984 radio, the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas stated, among others, the following:

On the Prespes Agreement:

There is an intentional distortion of the provisions of the Agreement. I am talking about everything the opposition claims about nationality and language. They had surrendered the term Macedonia and we now reclaim it.

When the people are informed in a dishonest manner, when New Democracy is being irrational, it is obvious that there is a problem. I respect all views and emotions, but we can't play with the people's emotion, nor dwell on extreme nationalism that has led our country to great defeats in the past.

The political leaders were briefed as soon as the Agreement was completed. A negotiation is the government's responsibility.

On the new parliamentary majority at the Parliament:

Oddly enough, we haven't heard any similar accusations and anathemas for the 5 MPs who left Potami to join New Democracy and KINAL. Nothing is concrete and nothing should be taken for granted. Even in 2015, when part of SYRIZA officials disagreed with the party line, we never targeted anyone, nor did anyone send threatening messages. We respect different views, no matter how much we may disagree.

In 2014, the country was at the brink of disaster. Today, we have a documented history, the country has reclaimed its prestige internationally, it has exited the MoU and guardianship regime, and stands on its own feet. Why bring down a government right now? The only ones who have made this their life's goal are those who were responsible for the previous situation, who ran the country to the ground and now want to make a comeback. They do not think, they have no sense of responsibility for what the country suffered because of them. It is not right for the killer to approach the victim and say these things.

On the F-16 modification:

We will introduce it for discussion after the vote of confidence. I think our arguments are sufficient and, in particular, the leadership of the Armed Forces wants to use part of these funds for the upgrade of the Hellenic Aerospace Industry. Explanations will be provided at the Parliament. These are funds provided to create infrastructure at the Hellenic Aerospace Industry to proceed with the contracts.