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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas to the OPEN TV Station and the Journalist Fay Mavragani

On Sunday, 02 December 2018, the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas, in an interview he gave to the OPEN TV station and to the journalist Fay Mavragani, stated the following:

Regarding the Turkish provocativeness:

Turkey has increased the harshness of its rhetoric and it has proceeded with actions that exceed the set limits. Our neighbours owe to be careful regarding the International Conventions and Treaties. Turkey maintains a stance that does not help the country in terms of development or in terms of European integration. As far as we are concerned, we retain the same view that SYRIZA and - the Coalition in the past - persisted on for many years and it relies on the principles of peaceful co-existence and on the effort of problems’ resolution through dialogue and the observance of the International Law.

This is the way we move on. The energy issues and the possible geo-political disputes are critical, but I believe that Turkey’s intensions and participation with regard to the energy field must derive from the framework of the International Treaties in effect. On the basis of the International Law, everyone knows what one is entitled to. So, any disputes must be settled differently, not through such actions. Our country is safe and the Hellenic Armed Forces protect us against any dispute.

Regarding the expansion of the territorial waters:

We start with a goal, we want to utilise some resources, our economy needs that. If there is an understanding between us and intergovernmental agreements are in place, we want to resolve the issues once and for all. We seek to eliminate the problems and to develop the productive wealth. It is a mistake to not proceed with matters that you can put an end to. Our policy is multi-dimensional: to resolve the financial problems, to resolve any other problem and to support the next day through resources’ development.

Regarding the elections:

The elections will take place in October 2019. Since everything is in order, there is no reason for snap elections. We will complete the four-year term, in order to bring to completion the great effort and responsibility that we have undertaken. Mr. Mitsotakis proposals include the catastrophic and unnecessary choices of the IMF which will harm society, being different in the sense that they constitute his choices and are not imposed by anyone else.