The Minister of National Defence Panos Panagiotopoulos, speaking today at the relevant committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs, during the treatment and examination of the draft law by the Ministry of National Defence “ratification of Legislative Decree regarding “transfer of the time of conduct of annual tactical evaluations for the year 2012 in the Armed Forces, the Hellenic Police and the Hellenic Coast Guard” and other provisions” stated, among others:
“The Ministry of National Defence is not a ministry of war but a ministry of peace. In order for us to have peace ensured within a volatile environment, we should have potent deterrent capability, despite the budget cuts enforced. Since, if the country has not ensured its national security and the respect of its national independence and sovereignty, then any effort made for economy has no sense.
I assure you that the Prime Minister’s, but also the other two political leaders’, goal and desire, as well as my personal aim, and that of the four Armed forces’ chiefs, is to make sure that the Armed Forces will continue unhindered the national mission they are entrusted with by the Hellenic people and the Constitution of the Hellenic Democracy. You all know that the country is experiencing a financial war, with completely different and special characteristics. We must respond to the needs of this war and stand up, so as to recover and reform. The stake is whether we will remain within the Eurozone. We must win...
I trust the Prime Minister in charge of this effort, as well as the other two leaders supporting it”.
At the same time, Mr. Panagiotopoulos referred to the active social contribution of the Armed Forces, underlining their essential assistance at the recent big forest fires at Chios Island and at Mount Athos.
Finally, he added that it is his political intention to reform the Armed Forces’ technical services based on the model of the former joint groups for engineer reconstruction, so as to make the construction of small, yet useful for borderline inhabitants, projects possible for border regions, small islands and islets.
Besides, the Minister of National Defence referred to the cooperation between the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Public Order and the Ministry for Citizen Protection, for matters of illegal immigration, stressing that this cooperation is a priority for the political leadership.
The draft law was ratified by majority of the parliamentary groups.