On Friday, 19 January 2019, the Minister of National Defence Evangelos Apostolakis attended an event of the Hellenic Space Agency on the subject "HELLAS TO THE MOON", which took place at the amphitheatre of the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications, and Media.
Below is the Minister of National Defence's address:
"It is a great pleasure to be here today in this event for the presentation of the proposals for Greece's participation in a pioneering programme, and not just by Greek standards.
With the programme "Hellas to the Moon", as you already said Minister, Greece joints the club of the few countries who will have set foot on the Moon. The country is upgraded and becomes a leader of global research.
It couldn't have been otherwise, since the programme is the result of the historical cooperation agreement between the Hellenic Space Agency and the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration or, as we all know it, NASA.
This cooperation is yet another confirmation of the excellent strategic relationship we have and constantly upgrade with the United States. For this reason, the presence of the US Ambassador, Mr. Pyatt, here today is essential as it is symbolic.
It is a fact that this cooperation opens a new chapter with unlimited perspectives in the area of research, know-how, and technological development.
So, congratulations to you, Minister, to your associates, to the Board of Directors and the members of the Hellenic Space Agency. To all those who contributed to this national effort. Your actions bear fruits and strengthen and upgrade Greece's role in the international space and technological environment in general.
New horizons open up to fulfil our national strategic goals. Besides, this is required by the modern geopolitical environment, since it is characterised by changes in the international distribution of power, strategic competitions, and rapid developments. Developments of all kind: political, social, economic, and technological.
The rapid technological advancement does not allow us to stay idle.
In order to achieve the strategic choices of our country and meet our national interests, we must be able not only to monitor technological advancements, but also to participate in their shaping.
I would like to stress that the Ministry of National Defence has understood that the use of space is of vital importance both to National Defence, as well as to the country itself, since it provides us with significant strategic advantages.
So, I would like to assure you that we strongly support this national effort, as I called it.
We will stand beside you at every step. And that's how we will move forward.
It has happened before with the recent ratification of the cooperation between the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications, and Media and the Ministry of National Defence in the form of a Memorandum of Cooperation in the area of Space.
This pioneering cooperation significantly upgrades our capabilities in this area. It enables us to exploit new technologies and modernise our equipment, infrastructure, and methods. The operational exploitation of technological innovation is very important for us, because it constitutes the strategic advantage that gives us strategic supremacy.
So, I am certain that our wonderful and multifaceted cooperation will soon bear even more fruits.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
today is a historical day for the Hellenic Space Agency, for the Ministry of Digital Policy, Telecommunications, and Media, for all of Greece.
A new perspective opens up, which will give a new boost to research, development, and the international bearing of Greece.
We are all optimistic for the fulfilment of the programme's goals and we hope that the Hellenic-made vehicle will manage to successfully land on the Moon.
Once again, congratulations to all.
Thank you very much".