Armed Forces Activities

04/09/2017 14:56:51

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas to SKAI TV Station and the journalists Dimitris Ikonomou and Maria Anastasopoulou


    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas, in an interview he gave on Monday 4 September 2017, to SKAI TV Station and the journalists Dimitris Ikonomou and Maria Anastasopoulou, mentioned the following:

    When asked if Mr. Tsipras is the new Andreas Papandreou he answered:

    There are two truths: One pertains to if you can follow the needs of a great change. The second truth is that when this happens the preexisting system fights change with all its might.

    To give an example from that time: The change, after the junta, after the dictatorship, was defined by the side of the conservative forces and was expressed by Konstantinos Karamanlis up until Greece entered the European Economic Community. Andreas Papandreou and PASOK was a newly founded party, which perceived that the change had to go even further and have social characteristics.

    These are said by someone who stood by the side which claimed at the time that PASOK was creating a kind of barrier in front of the more revolutionary side which we then supported and expressed. The date of birth of this party (PASOK) poses a good opportunity to express these views, because there is no proprietary procedure.

    I would also like to add the following: today on the 4th of September is the anniversary of the events in Chile when Allende took power, with a different rationale, different developments and of course with a different result, the same things happened to Chile.
    Nowadays we consider that a new change has taken place which clearly pertained to the memoranda and the policy followed but it was also relevant to a change necessary for the system of the political changeover.

    When asked if this means the end of the political changeover era he answered:

    It is not the end per se. There is no zero point. There was a period dominated by the so-called “triangle of corruption” and society itself wanted to overcome it, through elections.

    The change with Papandreou wrought great alterations to the system, which were attempted at a social level and even greater and deeper ones which failed. I would like to remind you of the Battle of the Vegetable Market. Furthermore the New Democracy leadership at the time, under Evangelos Averof, reacted intensely to the strike of the road tankers.

    Nowadays a new effort for change is made, which includes financial data. No one can forget that a battle was fought, which ended in July 2015 and then a new government emerged and declared elections by changing its initial views and calling the people to walk alongside it.

    The system of the political changeover created a situation. With the emergence of the global financial crisis a new correlation of forces was established. A differentiating element is that when PASOK took power it was supported by the European correlation of forces, in contrast to our times.

    When asked about the present situation and how it is handled he answered:

    We are going to give a battle with the following characteristics:

    First we must exit the memoranda procedure and a great success will be the government to achieve that in 2018, at the same time, I can also give you the outline along with the review of Thessaloniki, to set the basis for a new situation for Greece of 2021, beginning from 2017.  

    Secondly, in order to conclude the memorandum we have to agree with troika, the partners, or whatever you want to call them, so that we can exit the memorandum, reclaim an important part of our capability to plan and a part of our sovereignty. We will be able to formulate a more stable ground. So we will be able to end the process of intense supervision and enter an alliance, a cooperation, like that of the European Union, where we must abide by the rules.

    Third, we must fight to reshape those rules. During the visit of Macron, more issues will be discussed than just the bilateral relations of Greece and France. The two state leaders will also discuss the future of Europe. Macron has demonstrated his views and so have we. In certain issues we disagree with regards to what must be done about Europe.

    I also have my personal opinion on what must be done in general with regards to the Left Wing in Europe. There are many calls for a unity and common course of the Left Wing. Its cooperation with the Left Wing Social-democracy is going to strengthen the social state in Europe and build a new economy. We often say social state meaning social charity. That is not the case. It is social economy and a series of other things.

    When asked about the Third evaluation and the possibility of delays by ministers he answered:

    The talks about the first, second and now Third evaluations are conducted by the government and constitute government policy. A minister can have his/her own views and opinions but he/she cannot delay the whole process.

    We declare our intentions. We want to complete the evaluation quickly because it mainly has structural elements regarding the state as well as the investment climate which can be shaped. It contains no financial data but a series of issues with a view, financially, to the future. With regards to financial issues, the measures taken so far or the ones which will be taken in the future are enough and in some points I have said that they are more than enough.

    I also believe that such hype should not exist because sometimes we Greeks give the impression to foreigners that they should accelerate procedures for political reasons. This is wrong. Meaning that if IMF states that there is a problem in relation to the predictions for after 2018, 2019 in particular, in the revenue sector then we should take other measures.

    But if we take that for granted then we consider that the revenue earned is not the desired one. Why does this happen? If you want my opinion, which is a common view, then this happens because there is a problem in the fulfillment of taxation obligations, from the point of view of revenue.

    If you bring forth tax obligations then you will only succeed in exacerbating the problem. So from a financial point of view you reach a dead-end and you will have to follow the course of development. Development means shaping a situation which will lead to an increase in consumption and investments.

    When asked about the possibility of early elections in case the negotiations for the third evaluation reach a dead-end he answered:

    Do not pose hypothetical questions. The optimistic view is that the third evaluation will proceed and be concluded quickly. Some say November, others December. In my opinion we are ready. We have fulfilled most of our obligations, so we can fulfill the rest.

    I believe that the IMF will stay, but it will stay without false approaches, particularly regarding the financial sector. This pertains to time. Meaning the duration of negotiations and whether the creditors will raise new issues, as they usually do. We have to examine those issues and not simply condone them.


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