Armed Forces Activities

09/12/2017 20:55:46

Interview of the Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas to the “EPTA” TV Show on the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation’s Channel and the Journalist Valia Petouri

    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas gave an interview to the “EPTA” TV show on the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation’s Channel and the journalist Valia Petouri, on Saturday 09 December 2017, where among others he mentioned the following:

    Regarding the decision of the USA to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel:

    It is a wrong and inappropriate action conducted in the current circumstance. I wonder however, when an action is conducted, isn’t it more or less known or speculated that it is going to happen? Weren’t the tensions that followed already part of the general planning of this action? We are talking about a region which constantly changes even at the level of borders. There are followed procedures of geostrategic and geopolitical domination, which we will find ahead of us. The question is whether they will be procedures of development, of the region’s pacification – and this is the point where Greece can play a role – or there will be a new rise in tensions which will serve a new type of geostrategic interests. The latter possibility is of great concern to me.

    Of course there is not only one actor in the region. The action itself will cause a new series of tensions and oppositions. This should have been anticipated and I am certain that it has. There is time for a change of direction, so that we won’t have to deal with an explosion. This is essential if you also consider the existing conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the situation in Lebanon, at a time when all of us strive for tranquility in Syria, disengagement from wars and stop of the refugee flows, so that we can better manage them. Look at this map and the role played by Turkey. The issue of energy pipelines has a lot to do with Turkey.

    Regarding the visit of the President of the Turkish Republic and his statement about an update of the Treaty of Lausanne:

    It was a historic and beneficial visit. However we have to work, so that this can be proven. The relations of the two countries and the Balkans in general, can enter a new phase.

    The states, like people, come closer when what unites them and what divides them is made clear. I wholeheartedly support the interventions made by the Prime Minister and the President of the Republic and I believe that they made the following abundantly clear:

    There are issues which we discuss, like the current issue of the refugee flows, the relations of Greece and Turkey under the common statement of EU and Turkey, the issue of the unjustified tensions at the Aegean Sea, like the violations conducted by Turkey, the issue of joint financial action etc.

    However there are also issues which we are not willing to discuss, like the issue of the Treaty of Lausanne, of our national sovereignty and the claims about “grey zones”.

    The media only highlight the management of a disagreement while in reality the point is to manage the sum of all issues. To examine where we can find common ground. Greece supports Turkey’s European prospects. However I wonder if the Turkish leadership is oriented towards Europe.

    Furthermore I have a question regarding a domestic issue: Who does the political opposition oppose? It is a serious matter when the political opposition makes possibly prepared aggravating statements, while the government is discussing essential issues of foreign and defence policy. Perhaps they are not used to our national views being heard categorically. I wonder if they understood that the USA, the EU, Germany and France completely fell in with Greece’s views.

    There were benefits from the visit. I will stress an issue pertaining to the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence. I am talking about the effort made to shape the rules of engagement, an action which was agreed to begin by the Chief of HNDGS Admiral Apostolakis and General Akar. It is very essential, to the degree that it will be utilised, to decrease tensions not only in the military field but also in the financial and political one.

    All these geostrategic theories, like living space (lebensraum) for example, must be reexamined. Nowadays no-one can act as a dominator or a suzerain and consider one’s self a great power. This is especially true for Turkey which has received continuous blows. The point is whether Turkey desires its European prospects or if it is oriented towards other directions. This question is addressed to Turkey. On our side, we must enhance its European prospects.

    Regarding the regulations on the law for strikes:

    There are two matters: We have to proceed to actions which we would not take if the conditions were different. However we are now in a process of exiting the memoranda period and that is the most basic matter. This legislation essentially pertains to the businesses’ unions, e.g. a factory’s union. Secondly, like a great left-wing leader used to say, the weapon of the strike must be used to achieve victory and it never succeeds if the great majority of participants do not consciously support it.


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