The prime minister said he was looking forward to improving Greece’s relations with Turkey, despite some lingering disagreements between Athens and Ankara, notably the ongoing territorial dispute over maritime borders in the Aegean.
“We have had four very difficult years, but in recent months there has been a change of tone on the part of Ankara and I certainly look forward to exploring the possibilities for a meaningful rapprochement between Greece and Turkey. This is, of course, also related to immigration. The Minister of Migration of Greece was in Turkey.
We must work together to address this challenge. I have always argued, openly, that Turkey should be supported financially by the European Union, as it is currently hosting millions of Syrian refugees. There are mutually beneficial areas in which we can cooperate,” he noted.
And even if we agree to disagree on our main difference, which is the delimitation of maritime zones, we can do it in a civilized way, without conflict and without threats to Greece, as Turkey has done in the last year. So I hope that this change of approach will last.”
“I have always been an open supporter that Turkey should be supported financially by the European Union because it is currently hosting millions of Syrian refugees,” he said. “There are areas where we can cooperate and win,” he stressed.
“After all, Greece is no longer the problem child of Europe”
Referring to Greece’s position on the international stage, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that he is proud of how Greece has managed to improve its image.
“Greece is now one of the best performing economies in the Eurozone. We have been able to reduce our debt as a percentage of GDP at a faster rate than any other country in the world. We will have a primary surplus this year and next year, while at the same time we managed to reduce unemployment and recover the investment grade,” he said.
“After ‘several missteps’ over the decades, Greece is finally no longer Europe’s ‘problem child,'” he added.
Referring to the victory of the New Democracy in the elections, he underlined: “We defeated the populists and proved that a center-right, liberal, progressive government that really deals with the problems of the citizens and focuses on important social issues, can indeed bring about real change and achieve its re-election ».
What did he say about Israel and the situation in Gaza?
The podcast did not lack questions about the situation in Gauze and Israel and the businesses it carries out.
“I speak as a friend of Israel. I believe that sometimes friends have to tell the hard truth to their friends, that in the end we must not undermine the strategic goal: victory over Hamas. We should also think about the day after: what will be the arrangement under which Gaza will be governed the day after. And not to drive these divisions to such an extent that it makes it unthinkable to talk the next day about a political solution to the problem.”
“I think at the end of the day, it’s about restoring humanitarian aid to the people who need it most, making sure that many of the hospitals are working and that no one is faced with these horrific images every day,” he added. .
“Because, ultimately, one has to recognize the price one has to pay to defeat Hamas. It’s a very delicate balance, I understand. I also understand where Israel’s reaction is coming from. What happened on the 7th of October goes beyond the limits of horror. However, I would also like to echo what President Biden said, that the urge for revenge does not necessarily translate into good policy,” he added.
He also emphasized that Greece will consider participating in a maritime humanitarian aid corridor to Gazaif ships could operate under full protection.
“Because of our geography, if we can move humanitarian aid in an organized way and ensure that that aid reaches those who really need it most, we will be happy to do that. We had a plane that landed in Egypt, delivering humanitarian aid, and if we can explore the possibility of a sea corridor it would need the full protection of all parties involved, to ensure that ships could have safe access to Gaza,” he pointed out.