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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Interview ofthe Alternate Minister of National Defence, Panagiotis Rigas, on ALPHA

On Wednesday, 28 November 2018, the Alternate Minister of National Defence Panagiotis Rigas gave an interview on ‘ALPHA REPORTAGE’ television programme and to the journalists Rania Tsima and Spyros Lambrou, where he stated the following:

Regarding the political developments:

Elections will take place in October 2019. The tenure of this Government, which had specific goals set from the beginning, must be completed. The first goal is to come out of the fiscal surveillance and the memorandum, which is already completed; the current budget is the first in the proceeding of the E.U. semester, normality returns. The second goal is to return part of the growth’s outcome to the people. The Greek people have sound judgement and the existing government will rule for the next four years once again, while great institutional changes are ongoing. Since the beginning of the hardships that the Greek society had to endure, a need emerged for both financial/productive and social reorganisation.

Regarding accountability of governments:

The Greek people are fully aware of which government is to blame for the hardships. They are aware of the number of wages reductions performed by previous governments and that the current government never did that. We increase the minimum salary, we abolish the salary that is far below the minimum one, working relations are starting to re-establish.

Regarding corruption:

Regarding the cases of public funds’ bad management, by members of the previous ND and PASOK governments, which are either publicly revealed or are referred to the Parliament through the Hellenic Justice, there is no mud-slinging. The presented data are under investigation and the Hellenic Justice, as the competent authority, is taking the appropriate actions. The findings regarding Health refer to a 85-billions cost, out of which 25 billions is for medicines only. Undoubtedly, there is political accountability. If a penal offence exists as well, then another department is responsible to deal with the matter.

Regarding the threats of the President of Turkey and the possibility of the Prime Minister visiting Turkey:

The meetings must be held during difficult times and this is a fundamental principle in international relations. As we speak, Turkey has increased its rhetoric and provides bad services to the region. We are a pillar of stability and peace. We protect all our interests in accordance with the International Law and there is no chance anyone backs down from that. Our neighbours expose themselves by not abiding to the International Law. The existing differences must be resolved in other ways. When the appropriate conditions arise, the Prime Minister will visit Turkey.