“Turkey uses immigrants as a tool, it is a hybrid threat,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in his statements at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, where he is for the UN General Assembly.
At the same time, Mr. Mitsotakis also referred to the elections that will be held in 2023 in Greece, noting that whatever happens, “the country will be governed”.
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“The relationship will not recover as long as Turkey behaves like this”
Speaking about the Turkish provocation, Kyriakos Mitsotakis said:
“What I want to say is that I have always wanted a constructive relationship with Turkey. In the first meeting I had with Tayyip Erdogan at the United Nations three years ago, I told him that we should make a new beginning, but if you see Turkey’s reaction since then, Turkey after two months went and signed the illegal Turkish-Libyan memorandum .
“They do not consider the existence of the Greek islands. They don’t exist for them. If you look at the maps, you will understand that it is a geographical absurdity. Libya and Turkey do not meet anywhere. By the same token, he could have signed with Morocco.”
In fact, the prime minister emphasized, “it is difficult 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.”
At the same time, he repeated that he is “always open” to solve the problems through dialogue, but, as he said, “Mr. Erdogan does not want to talk to me.”
I’ve heard it before and we ended up talking,” said Mr. Mitsotakis, pointing out:
“I will continue to insist that there is only one framework of rules for dispute resolution, 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.”
“If the Greeks decide that we should not govern alone, then we will govern in a coalition government”
Regarding the elections and the results of the polls, Kyriakos 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.”
The prime minister declared himself optimistic about the electoral victory of the ND and added:
“Now we have a course, which makes me optimistic that we can win with confidence. 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,” he noted.
“To become independent of Russian gas and put a ceiling”
Then, referring to energy, he emphasized that what is happening with the price of natural gas in the EU is “absurd”.
“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,” the prime minister said.
And he added: “On 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 have to maintain social cohesion, that’s why I insist on a bolder intervention in the gas market, we should impose a ceiling on all sources of gas. At the moment it is a one-way street, more and more countries are realizing the need for such an intervention.”
Regarding energy saving, he stated that “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.”
Regarding the new sanctions in Russia, Kyriakos 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.
“The sanctions packages are in place, but we don’t have endless options. On 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”, stressed the Prime Minister.
“Let’s say who was financed by Moscow”
Kyriakos Mitsotakis also referred to Vladimir Putin and the financing of parties in Europe, saying: “We know that a lot of money was directed to parties, to journalists in Western Europe. We need to be quick and say clearly who was funded by Moscow.”
Regarding our country, in fact, he noted:
“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.”