Armed Forces Activities

06/02/2018 15:45:28

Interviews of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas to the REAL FM radio station and the SKAI TV station

    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas was interviewed by the journalist Nikos Hatzinikolaou at the REAL FM radio station, on Tuesday 06 February 2018 where, among others, he mentioned the following:

    Regarding the Novartis scandal and the relevant statements by members of the New Democracy party:

    I discerned an effort by Mr. Voridis to grope for a line of defence, without even having reviewed the brief. He exaggerated so much that at the end he raised the issue of the statute of Limitations.

    The main issue, in my opinion, where we should focus is that we are dealing with an international scandal of particular interest to Greece, as country - point of reference for the shaping of medicine prices internationally. The revelations began at the USA. We can only see the tip of the iceberg from what the journalists call a “party” at the health sector.

    First of all, we should all see to it that the issue is raised in the Parliament, as soon as possible. Secondly we should normalise the country’s political life, having first promoted the issue, and in that sense all claims about manipulation are referred back as the defence line of the New Democracy party.

    The stipulated procedures will be followed in the Parliament. The Parliament will address the issue and form a committee of inquiry or preliminary investigation. This will happen if there is evidence, since this is stipulated by the Constitution, and it is hard for me to believe that an attorney will promptly and without evidence send the file to the Parliament. It will reach its conclusions and will return the file for the penal examinations and arrangements. The Parliament can judge to a certain degree whether it should return the file, however it is more common to commence its own procedures.

    If there is such an issue of great gravity, then the parties and the government will have to be interested. If, despite my hopes, an engagement is finally proven, this will strike a devastating blow to the political world and the political life of our country in general.

    Nobody can be accused without a proven accusation and nobody is guilty if his/her guilt is not first proven. However, if the government was able to do what every Supreme Court lawyer can, meaning to make some requests or assist so that the procedure will be expedited, then I would consider this as ordinary.

    Regarding the decision by the Council of State about the back pay of the armed forces cadres:

    The decision by the Council of State essentially vindicates the government and the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence, which has already conducted a study about the return of the 50% of the cadres’ back pay, readjusted upwards based on the aforementioned study. We will have to wait until October 2018 in order to have a final resolution, which we have already proposed as the Ministry of National Defence, leading this issue towards a complete solution in order to return the money to the cadres which have suffered major pay cuts in the last three years.

    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas gave an interview to SKAI TV station and the “OI ATAIRIASTOI” TV show on Tuesday 06 February 2018 where, among others, he mentioned the following:

    Regarding the accusations by the political opposition that the Novartis matter surfaced right after the mass demonstration for Skopje:

    The issue of Skopje is a whole other issue, as is the issue regarding the pay of the armed forces cadres. Every time something happens it is already preceded by some other event.

    The fact that people hasten to establish a line of defence without having first read the brief, poses an issue. The Novartis scandal exists and that is a given at an international level. In the USA the FBI is also conducting an investigation apart from the competent judiciary authorities. According to journalistic sources one of its units has also come to Greece. I wish that there were no Greek politicians engaged in such procedures. However, every now and again, new court rulings reveal the engagement of politicians from the old political system in such procedures.

    Regarding the decision by the Council of State about the back pay of the armed forces cadres:

    The previous law stated that 50% of back pay will be imbursed in 36 installments. SYRIZA happened to be in office when these were paid. At the same time the law stated that the other 50% would be paid if this is allowed by the financial condition of the country.

    Our government is committed to give the other 50% of the back pay. In the Ministry of National Defence we calculated that these sums, including the super-additions, amount to approximately 450-500 million Euros, along with the pensioners. So we conducted a study regarding the best possible way to imburse them.

    Based on that study we can pay them in monthly installments. I believe that in October or November we will begin imbursing them.

    Regarding his relationship with the Minister of National Defence Panos Kammenos:

    We have an excellent cooperation.

    It is clear that we negotiate at an international level based on the following principle: our goal should be peace in the Balkans and in order for that to happen we need two things, solidification of the boundaries, which is very important, and putting an end to irredentist rationales.

    According to our government the national line is a composite name with a geographical or other qualification. We move towards that direction. This will be done in such a form of agreement as may be approved by the International Law. It will transcend Constitutions and this will help everyone find solutions with Skopje, Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia.

    A century in flames is enough for the region. The procedures for joint development must commence.

    The Independent Greeks party has its own view. But neither the party of Independent Greeks neither that of SYRIZA will make the final decision. The decision will be made by the Parliament. This is our view. The New Democracy party is the only political power whose view I have yet to understand.

    When asked if a problem may arise regarding government stability because of this issue, he answered:

    The answer is “no” and I say this knowing a bit more about the subject, because when we discuss in the Ministry with Panos Kammenos, we go through all issues. The answer is “no”. We will find a way to achieve the greatest possible consent. We are still at the beginning of a negotiation, where both parties need to agree, meaning Greece and Skopje.



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