Article Of Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos at “Newsbomb.Gr” Informative Website

July 9, 2021

With the electoral victory on 7 July 2019, the New Democracy had to win a big bet. It had to stand before the Greek people with seriousness and honesty, to convince them for its reformatory program and win all Greeks’ trust. Before anyone else, Kyriakos Mitsotakis set an example to work and build a powerful Country, honouring the clear and strong mandate given by the New Democracy people.

In this context, we work hard, every day, in a firm way with regard to our goal to put Greece back to normality, stability, development and real prosperity. To implement this objective, what is required first of all is a fundamental condition of peace, security and stability, through a powerful deterrent mechanism of every threat. This is also the mission of the Political Leadership of the Ministry of National Defence every day, 24/7, seven days a week, with the huge support of the Military Leadership, the Officers, NCOs and soldiers.

Deeply acknowledging our big debt, from the first moment we were informed on the current situation, the pending issues and the immediate needs, so that the Armed Forces can perform their duty both at military and social level.

This was evident in the winter of 2020, when our Country was called to face serious external challenges, both with the pre-planned operation of massive, illegal immigrants’ entry through our ground and sea borders and the medical crisis caused by “Covid-19”.

The men and women of the Armed Forces held their positions. They confronted with determination, composure and activation of alliances as well, the attempt of establishing faits accomplis in the Eastern Mediterranean. We internationalized Turkey’s violating behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean, as an issue of the European Union’s vital interests, incorporating it in the European-Turkish relations framework. We have reinforced and enlarged the strategic cooperations in the region. We indicated that Greece’s borders are Europe’s foreign borders, while we have promoted the cooperation with other countries of the wider region (like France, Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, the Saudi Arabia), which, as Greece, seek peace, security and stability.

At the same time, we have been struggling to confront the new global threat of the pandemic. The medical, paramedical and supporting medical personnel of the Armed Forces, as well as the military factories, are adjusted in an unprecedented campaign plan to confront the medical crisis. The results so far have shown that we are doing well. We are not resting on our laurels and we move on. The Armed Forces have undertaken the main burden of the vaccination campaign in the country and keep on contributing in the national effort.

Besides, the five main pillars of our policy are steady and based upon them we are developing our initiatives and activities.

Specifically, through our policy, we are ensuring the defence equipment sufficiency, pointing out its technical superiority and use of modern information systems and command systems. In this context, we are proceeding with the upgrade and support of the Armed Forces basic weapon systems, in cooperation with the General Staffs. At the same time, we are proceeding with the acquisition of new weapon systems that will upgrade operational capability and functional readiness, in no time, not only with regard to the Greek standards.

These actions are combined with the reorganization of the Armed Forces structure in process. We are transforming an obsolete command model, aiming at the increase of manpower availability. On one hand, we are reinforcing the Armed Forces with the necessary military personnel, and on the other hand we are institutionalizing an objective, steady framework of military career and an evaluation system of the members, in order to ensure their promotion with the most reliable way in terms of qualifications.

By implementing with absolute transparency and having informed the Parliament, the competent Committees and the Greek people on an armaments program that gives life to the Armed Forces, we are also proceeding with the transformation of the legal framework change regarding defence procurements.

At the same time, we are making the most serious efforts of the last decades regarding the reinforcement of the domestic defence industry, based on concepts of modern business and economy. To maintain high operational capabilities in the Army, we want new production, Logistics support, standardization and supply security models. In addition, we are working to establish partnerships and synergies between the enterprises of the Public and Private Sector.

Regarding military training, we have increased the percentage of those admitted in military academies; we are reinforcing the cooperation of the Supreme Military Education Institutions and Schools with the Universities of the country and the use of the cumulative scientific knowledge and experience of thinking tanks, as well as with respective schools abroad, in the context of international cooperations. At the same time, we are upgrading the military service as a mechanism of acquiring decisive qualifications on behalf of the conscripts, so that they are well equipped when introduced to the work market.