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Hellenic Republic Ministry of National Defence

STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER OF NATIONAL DEFENCE EVANGELOS APOSTOLAKIS AT THE INDUCTION CEREMONY OF NEW TRAINING AIRCRAFT OF THE HELLENIC AIR FORCE

We are here, in Tatoi, with the Chief of Hellenic National Defence General Staff and the Chief of Hellenic Air Force General Staff, at the induction ceremony of new training aircraft for the first training phase. It is a state-of-the-art aircraft. Just think that the aircraft we have been using until today for Cadets’ training and pilot selection were approximately 50 years old.

Some of them are still in operation. So our training capabilities and our selection procedure for air force cadets have been upgraded. This overall programme of 12 new training aircraft upgrades training, Hellenic Air Force’s capabilities, and also increases our air surveillance capabilities during the fire-fighting season.

I wish to congratulate the Hellenic Air Force and the aircraft manufacturer because in a very short period of time, sooner than it had been planned, managed to complete this programme and provide us with the aircraft, which are ready and available for our Air Force cadets.

JOURNALIST: Mr. Minister, if you allow me a question. The day before yesterday we had 84 incidents of violation by the Turks, yesterday 99, almost 100. Any comments about this Turkish crescendo of violations? What is their intention? What do they aim at? It is a pre-election period.

E.APOSTOLAKIS: We cannot analyse in just one minute what we may predict, yet what I want to say is that discussions and efforts aim to reduce the tension. Such leverage and reactions do not help us achieve this. We are trying and we will keep trying to stop these violations and this kind of actions to the benefit of both sides. Every violation is dealt with and intercepted, as it is provided for and according to our permanent tactics”.