Armed Forces Activities

02/01/2018 15:52:23

Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas' interview with Journalist Nikos Manessis at ALPHA 9.89 Radio Station

    The Alternate Minister of National Defence Dimitris Vitsas, during an interview with Journalist Nikos Manessis at ALPHA 9.89 Radio Station today, Tuesday 2 January 2018, stated among other things the following:

    On the case of the eight Turkish military officers and the issue of granting them asylum:

    Let’s set the facts straight. First of all, the first instance Committee denied asylum while the second instance approved it. We believe that this case, besides the jurisdictional pertinence, should be tried by the Courts. An issue has been set straight, that they will not be extradited, and this is clear. Towards this direction and based on the Rule of Law, we should take a clearer decision on the issue.

    On the reason this decision should be re-examined and on the New Democracy party’s criticism:

    New Democracy only thinks all issues in view of the elections and taking, or believing that it will take, the power. With such a mindset, one might be blinded by his thirst for power. We have the pertinence, but also the obligation towards the country and its people, to see things in a realistic and composed way. Therefore, our judicial procedure should be respected, based on the principles set by domestic and international Law. I would like to add to this that I repeatedly referred to the decision concerning the non extradition and we have also said in a million ways that, for all cases in general and not only for those eight, Greece is not a country that fosters putschists. We not only talk about those eight, there is a former decision that will be completed. There is the asylum issue for thousands of people and we often see the case of an asylum request that has been denied by both committees and the seeker appeals to the Administrative Court of Appeal.

    On the provocative statements by Turkish Officials:

    The Government Spokesperson, Mr. Tzanakopoulos, replied effectively on this issue. I could add two things: such cheap bravados help nobody and no one of them can really worry; and by cheap bravados I mean the statements by Mr. Cavusoglu, who should be more careful as far as the developments in the area are concerned. Therefore International Law authorities, who basically tend to justify our requests and grievances, should be requested by all; even more by Mr. Cavusoglu, a person who was born and raised in Greece, and should know that, as far as offensive threats are concerned, Greece is always ready. We not only say that Greece is powerful; we say that it is a country with a really powerful deterrent force. At the same time, we consider that all issues that should be discussed for some reason, such as the alleged “gray zones” which of course do not exist for us – are resolved peacefully, via diplomatic ways. Too much aggressiveness may harm and, in the end, it lets the aggressor exposed, since he can’t fulfill his words.  

    On whether there is concern about a warm incident:

    We would not like tension.  As Armed Forces, as Ministry of National defence, as people and, of course, as Government, we are always ready.
    Peace is what we need so as to be able to grow along with all the countries in the neighbourhood, and for domestic growth as well.



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