“Turkey uses immigrants as a tool, it is a hybrid threat”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis emphasized – among others – in his statements to the Council on Foreign Relations in the USA and specifically, in New York where he is for the UN General Assembly, while he did not miss to also refer to the elections, noting that whatever happens, “the country will be governed”.
Referring to Turkish provocation, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: “What I can tell you is that I have always sought a constructive relationship with Turkey. Three years ago I told him to make a new beginning. Then he fell in love with an EEZ with Libya that ignores the existence of Greek islands, a geographical paradox. Then we have the instrumentalization of immigrants, the questioning of our islands.”
In fact, as he pointed out, “it is hard for me to imagine how the relationship between the two countries will recover as long as Turkey behaves like this. But, if Turkey continues on this path, it will isolate itself from both Europe and the US. And if Turkey wants to “play” in another sphere of influence, so be it, but it is a member of NATO. And it is the only NATO country that does not impose sanctions on Russia,” repeating that “I am always open to solve problems through dialogue, Mr. Erdogan does not want to talk to me. But I’ve heard it before and we ended up talking. I will continue to persevere that there is only one framework of rules for the resolution of disputes, international law and international maritime law. But it doesn’t solve differences with aggressive behavior and the restoration of imperial fantasies, but also inflammatory rhetoric.”
Watch the video with the Prime Minister’s statements:
“If the Greeks decide that we should not govern alone, then we will govern in a coalition government”
Regarding elections and poll results, Mr. Mitsotakis emphasized: “We have the same lead, 7-8-9 points. It is a good starting point for the elections. We have said that we want to govern with an absolute majority and this is what we will ask of the Greek citizens. If they reward us, it’s fine. If not, we will have to form some form of government. In any case, the country will be governed.”
At another point, he emphasized: “Now we have a course, which makes me optimistic that we can win with self-reliance. We changed the electoral law. The polls are predicting that we will win and I reckon we will struggle, but we will do it on our own. But if the Greeks decide that we should not govern alone, then we will govern in a coalition government.”
“To become independent of Russian gas and put a ceiling”
Subsequently, referring to energy, said: “The price of gas in the EU is absurd what is happening. The market is now distorted, the price has gone up 10 times. What is on everyone’s mind is how we will support households and businesses and how we will diversify energy sources. Russia is not a reliable supplier and we want to become independent of Russian gas».
He added: “For energy, we have not reacted with the same aggression. We hope the EU will do more. I can’t say it any clearer how difficult this winter is going to be with these gas prices. We have implemented a mechanism for taxing the excess profits of companies. The EU has reviewed our scheme and are suggesting other countries do the same. We need to maintain social cohesion, which is why I insist on a bolder intervention in the gas market, we should impose ceiling on all gas sources. At the moment it is a one-way street, more and more countries are realizing the need for such an intervention”.
“But even if we don’t, then we have to support our societies in terms of the cost of living. If we don’t, we will lose ground and Russia will have an opportunity to play disinformation games and destabilize governments in Europe. They say it openly. To stay the course, it should be clear that the consequences we are subject to are no harsher than those we impose on Russia through sanctions. That’s why we need a more organized reaction”, added the prime minister, underlining that “for this we could redirect amounts from the Recovery Fund, from the loan arm. And if this is to support income, then we have to do it, because otherwise the political pressure will be too great. This winter is hard, but and the next one will be very difficult, especially for countries that stockpile and will have to replenish their stockpiles. But, it must be said, we were extremely dependent on Russian gas.”
Yes, for her energy savingstated: “Citizens must also make small changes in their behavior. Small changes make a difference. The difference in consumption between 21 and 25 degrees in air conditioners is huge.”
Alongside, on the new sanctions on RussiaKyriakos Mitsotakis clarified: “Greece has not expressed objections to the eighth package of sanctions and we have always said that we will use any means to pressure Russia. Penalty packages apply, but we don’t have endless options. For Shipping, we are the first to agree, as long as there are no leaks from other countries that should be involved if we want to use shipping to pressure Russia that exports its oil.”
“We have elections in Italy, it seems that the Right will recover. If we don’t want to throw grist to the mill of the populist parties, we have to understand the problems. To support households to get through the difficult winter, these are real problems. The money of the Recovery Fund has not yet been allocated for the needs of the citizens”, he emphasized at another point.
“Let’s say who was financed by Moscow”
In addition, he referred to Vladimir Putin and party funding in Europe, saying: “We know that a lot of money went to parties, to journalists in Western Europe. We need to be quick and say clearly who was funded by Moscow. In Greece, we know, for example as evidence, from an American warrant that there was a person who distributed money, 10 million dollars, to set up a network of pro-Russian channels in Greece. We know who they are, who distributed the money. This is where the existence of our democracies is at stake.”
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