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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

Excerpts from Defence Minister's Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos speech during his visit at the C' Army Corps/NRDC-GR HQ in Thessaloniki

The Minister of National Defence Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos underlined the decisive contribution of the Armed Forces, so as to avoid the country's bankruptcy, in his address today to the Officers, NCOs and soldiers of the C' Army Corps/NRDC-GR in Thessaloniki.

Mr. Panagiotopoulos, at the presence of the Chief of the Hellenic Army General Staff Lieutenant General Athanassios Tselios and the Commander of the C' Army Corps/NRDC-GR Lieutenant General Nikolaos Devetzis, underlined that the country is already walking the path towards reform, which is going upwards, yet is the only path towards the future. Greece would not have avoided bankruptcy if the Armed Forces, that are an exceptional part of the Greek people, had not assumed on their shoulders a big part of the heavy load of sacrifices inflicted on our entire people, in order to save the country and help it stand on its feet. Currently the messages are encouraging and the first signs are positive. The State has complete awareness of the sacrifice made by the Armed Forces and will start rendering what is owed from the very first steps of recovery.

The Minister of National Defence, after expressing his satisfaction as far as the work that is being done at the C' Army Corps/NRDC-GR is concerned, encouraged the men and women in the Armed Forces to remain faithful to the values they started their career with, since with these values and ideals – as he mentioned – the Country remained standing. At the same time, the Minister of National Defence complimented the Armed Forces' readiness, underlining that this is the only way to ensure the country's independence and territorial integrity, and to maintain security and stability in the broader region.

And he concluded saying: "I congratulate you. I would like you to convey my warm thanks to your families for the valuable moral support they offer to you during this difficult struggle you daily conduct. My door is open through the structure imposed by the Hellenic Armed Forces' command; I am standing by each one of you, for whatever you think I could be helpful".

During his stay in Thessaloniki, the Minister of National Defence visited the NATO HQ (NRDC-GR), where he held discussions with the delegates – supreme Officers from the participating countries – and he was briefed on the HQ's current activity.