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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas attends the "1st Hellenic-American Rotary Wing Industry Day" of the GDDIA

Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas attends the "1st Hellenic-American Rotary Wing Industry Day" of the GDDIA
Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas attends the "1st Hellenic-American Rotary Wing Industry Day" of the GDDIA

The Alternate Minister of National Defence, Dimitris Vitsas, addressed the conference “1st Ηellenic–Αmerican Rotary Wing Industry Day” organised on Monday, June 6, 2016, by the General Directorate of Defence Investments and Armaments (GDDIA) of the Ministry of National Defence, which aims at the extraversion of the Greek defence industry. The conference is organised on June 6-8, 2016, at the Armed Forces Officers’ Club, Athens.

The Alternate Minister stated in his speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Distinguished guests, partners of the defence industry, thank you for the invitation and the honour to address the conference “1st Ηellenic–Αmerican Rotary Wing Industry Day”. We are going through a very difficult and complicated financial and social crisis. Over the last 6 years, Greece has been struggling not only to reduce its deficit, but to regain the confidence as well, the confidence of the markets, the confidence of the global financial and credit system, the confidence to itself. Greece, however, has the possibility and the ability to turn this crisis into an opportunity for a real and necessary change. We are convinced that this crisis provides us a unique opportunity to launch significant reforms and create entrepreneurship friendly conditions which Greece needs, in order to become competitive again and achieve sustainable growth.

To this end, several related questions must be answered. For example, how can we do more with less money? How can the Ministry of National Defence and the industry cooperate to cover important shortages of our defence capability? And how can we optimize the opportunities in the field industry for you to obtain a more innovative way of thinking? To face simple shortages, cohesive and coordinate action is required. The industry has played an important role and I put all of you the following challenge: grab the opportunity to apply practically the principles and the methods that you will discuss about today.

Over the last months, the Greek – American relations have become more substantial and enhanced. In the context of the Defence Industry Cooperation, this initiative taken by the Defence Cooperation Agency and the General Directorate of Defence Investments and Armaments is an excellent example of a closer cooperation in armaments. The existence of prospects and expectations for a constructive and constant cooperation between the two countries’ defence industries is of great importance. The deepest intention is for Greece to be – in the industrial sector – a centre for the support of USA weapon systems in South-Eastern Europe and perhaps even farther.

To this direction, we, as government, have created an investment framework. We have created a stable tax system. We modernize and improve the judicial system. We exempt entrepreneurship from redundant bureaucratic procedures. We promote transparency and combat corruption

The new Growth Law attempts to combine a strong programme of public investments with a boom in private and social entrepreneurial initiatives which invest in the real economy, the new technologies and the creation of new employment posts.
As Ministry of National Defence we want a new relation between the public and private defence enterprises, which will be mostly based on the cooperation.

Therefore, the importance of the manpower and the excellent premises that we possess augment and enhance the participation of the Hellenic Defence Industry in the projects in which we are engaged as Ministry of National Defence, in order to purchase, upgrade and maintain the weapon systems.

We are already completing two important steps: the Strategy of the National Defence Industry with a horizon of ten years and the implementation of the Reorganisation of the Armed Forces over a period of two years.

Dear co-operators,

We are all aware of the important geopolitical, geostrategic and geo-economic location of Greece. We are also aware of the traditionally good relations between Greece and the United States, as well as with the European and the Mediterranean countries.

The recent ratification of the military cooperation agreements signed with Israel and Egypt, by the Hellenic Parliament and the oncoming agreement with Jordan create additional presumptions of stability and employment in the region.

Greece can and must become an important pillar of stability and joint growth in the region. Let’s benefit from it, socially and financially.

With these few words, I welcome today’s conference. I congratulate all the competent agencies that conceived this idea and carried it out. I express my deep satisfaction because such an initiative is taken at the most critical time when Greece started to overcome the crisis and move towards a period of growth.

I recommend every partner to see the organization of today’s forum, not as a single fact, yet as a starting point to a long, strategic and mutually beneficial cooperation. Finally, I wish today’s discussions to result in remarkable and fruitful conclusions which will aim at an industrial osmosis in the field of defence.

Thank you very much for your attention”.