HomeGreeceAlternative Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ interview along with “Political” newspaper...

Alternative Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ interview along with “Political” newspaper and journalist Sotiris Pikoulas (Athnes, seventeen. 12. 2022)

“There is no more time in order to waste. Bold decisions need to be taken here and now” so as to address the energy problems at the European Union level, Alternate Minister of Foreign Matters, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, underlines within an interview with the newspaper “Political” and journalist Sotiris Pikoulas, recalling that Greece, upon its part, acted immediately by submitting a package associated with measures for a sustainable power future and by creating a social safety net for its citizens against rising prices.   Mentioning Ankara’s continued provocative rhetoric, Mr. Varvitsiotis estimates that it must be linked to the election period in the neighbouring country, noting that will “we are not falling in to the trap of Mr Erdogan’s polarisation, but we are fully prepared to defend our sovereign rights and our territorial integrity, if deems necessary”. Regarding the Qatargate, the Alternate Minister stresses the need for transparency and strict rules in the functioning of the European institutions. “Europe is our home and we must protect it”, he pointedly states. Finally, Mr. Varvitsiotis expresses his conviction that the Greek individuals will give a new strong mandate to the Mitsotakis government to be able to continue its work, underscoring that “significant leaps forward” have been made with “significant benefits for the citizens of West Athens, whom I have the honour to represent in the Greek Parliament”. M. VARVITSIOTIS: In tough circumstances, as a result of the pandemic and the subsequent energy turmoil, Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ government has focused on the serious problems that concern citizens and is implementing a coherent plan to enhance everyday life, increase job possibilities, and consolidate an atmosphere of security in the communities. We do not claim to have got solved all of the problems, yet we have made significant leaps forward compared to 2019, and are continuing. Our activities and the results of our plans have been of significant advantage to the citizens of West Athens, whom I have the particular honour to represent within the Greek Parliament. We have accomplished tangible results: I recall the reduction in unemployment, the undergrounding of high-voltage cables in Egaleo and Agia Varvara, the extension of the metro line, the environmental upgrading of Poikilon Oros, the great opportunities provided by the Recovery and Resilience Fund for little and medium-sized enterprises within our municipalities. This effort will be renewed with even greater perseverance and impetus once we get a strong popular mandate, which I am fully confident the particular Greek people will give all of us in the upcoming national elections. JOURNALIST: Do you have any comment on Antonis Samaras’ speech at the inauguration of his Foundation. Really does what he said reveal the truth? Meters. VARVITSIOTIS: The entire Europe is facing significant problems with increasing prices and inflation, primarily as a result of the turmoil caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. We must emphasize that this is not a Greek problem, yet an international one. From the very first moment we foresaw the results of a military conflict in Europe’s neighbourhood, we failed to simply sit back but rather served immediately to protect our residents, focusing on those most within need. Taking into account the fiscal space, we have gradually developed social safety net based on focused, people-centered actions. Allow me to remember the increase in the minimum wage, the increased child benefit, the “household basket”, the 250 euro crisis aid  that our fellow citizens, who are hardly making payments, will receive immediately, the particular increase in pensions that is getting implemented  for the first time since the period of  the fiscal modification programmes. These measures, when combined with the government’s basic tax-cut strategy, have had the effect of increasing disposable income throughout a difficult period. This policy will be continued, as discussed in the 2023 budget, and as Greek economic indicators improve, we will return dividends towards the society. We always work with seriousness and obligation, prudence and planning, and demonstrate in practice that New Democracy is a great liberal and popular party that fights for all Greeks’ interests. The full interview is as follows: M. VARVITSIOTIS: Portugal supports the European perspective of the Western Balkan nations. Albania’s accession perspective presupposes the fulfilment of the relevant criteria concerning respect for that rights of the Greek group and good neighbourly relationships. Greece has made it very clear to the neighbouring country that this settlement of the maritime zones’ delimitation goes through the reference point of the issue to the International Court of Justice in the Hague and we expect the Albanian authorities to proceed immediately with the preparatory actions required. JOURNALIST: Finally, exactly what were the decisions from the European Council, and why is the EU delaying action on such a major issue as the energy crisis? JOURNALIST: We thought, for a moment that Chicken would turn to its eastern front in Syria, but it came back with strong attention grabbing statements, including the threat to deliver Typhoon missiles to Athens. How do you think Greek-Turkish relationships will develop in the run-up towards the elections? M. VARVITSIOTIS: In fact , the particular EU has been long past due in finding a common ground for a holistic approach to the energy turmoil and for the gradual decoupling of Europe from the Ruskies factor. I remind you that Greece acted instantly and submitted a package of measures against the backdrop of a sustainable energy future that addresses tomorrow’s challenges. The controversial plan has the support of other EU partners, who are approaching in the same way a durable solution to such a serious issue. There is no more time to waste.   At their meeting next Monday, the particular member states’ energy ministers have to agree on a common European response to the energy crisis. Vibrant decisions are needed here and today! JOURNALIST: SYRIZA insists on its opposition regarding the phone-tapping and recently inquired the ruling party’s ministers and MPs to “bring down” Mitsotakis… Meters. VARVITSIOTIS: Unfortunately, Turkey continues its provocations and dangers against Greece, which -let us not forget – is really a NATO ally. It is already clear that all political energies in the neighboring country are instrumentalising Greek-Turkish relations in order to mobilize and strengthen every side’s electoral base within the run-up to the crucial 2023 elections. As a result, we think the polarization game will continue as long as Turkey is within an election period. Throughout the recent General Affairs Authorities meeting in Brussels, I stressed to my counterparts that people need to send the information that candidate countries, such as Turkey, cannot threaten EUROPEAN UNION member states with attacks. In this regard, I cited Mister Erdogan’s recent statement which he is going to use his medium-range missile against Athens. This is not acceptable. Europe must type a comprehensive strategy towards Chicken. Turkey cannot ignore Euro sanctions against Russia to be able to protect its own interests, whilst European citizens suffer from high energy prices and Ankara poises a neighboring country. Additionally, Europe cannot ignore any kind of conduct that violates the particular rule of law, such as the conviction of Istanbul Gran Ekrem Imamoglu. We are not falling into the trap associated with Mr Erdogan’s polarisation, but we are fully prepared to defend our sovereign rights plus our territorial integrity in the event that deems necessary. M. VARViTSIOTIS: The European Parliament must function in a transparent manner, and its decisions must be based on the interests of residents rather than economic interests. The particular European Parliament’s external relationships with third countries, particularly, must not be based on practices concerning non- transparent procedures resulting from suspicious dealings with lobbies. In the face of such cases of corruption, strict rules upon decision transparency and the working of European institutions are usually clearly required. At a time whenever all kinds of Eurosceptics, populists plus extremists are lurking, we need to defend the European edifice’s principles and values. “Europe is our home and must protect it”. M. VARVITSIOTIS: The views of the former Prime Minister, in this instance Antonis Samaras, are always well known. Moreover, he defended all of them vigorously, ignoring the politics cost.   Let us keep in mind that during the critical period of 2012-2014, the then-government, of which I was a member, fought hard and succeeded in keeping Portugal on its feet and in the euro area. About the event of the Antonis Samaras Foundation, it sent a clear message that our party much more united than ever before and decided on win a new victory within the upcoming national elections. JOURNALIST: In a recent trip to a local organisation in Chaidari the Prime Minister said that we have to pay special attention to nearby problems. Has an MP’s function become more difficult in the well-known districts, such as the western and surrounding suburbs of Athens? JOURNALIST: Would you believe that we have sufficiently addressed the rising prices and the energy crisis? Can a lot more resources be provided from the state budget to support vulnerable citizens? JOURNALIST: The particular Kaili case and the Qatargate scandal in general “tarnish” the particular European Parliament, and consequently the democratic institutions of the European Union. How should we shield ourselves? JOURNALIST: Are we as a country convinced that Albania and Edi Rama’s intentions for Euro modernization and a final treatment for the EEZs on the basis of Global Law are genuine? M. VARVITSIOTIS: It is clear that SYRIZA continues purchasing polarization and toxic quarrels, as it has failed to bring in citizens with its positions till today. In its attempt to claim back the levers of power, it frequently exceeds all limits and ethical  specifications. Neither New Democracy neither the general public are surprised simply by this. In fact , Mr Tsipras has failed to present a serious intend to address the major issues that residents face and is attempting to undermine New Democracy by constantly shouting and throwing dirt. He is trapped in the serious rigidities and bankrupt mentalities of yesterday, and he appears to not have received the message from the previous national elections. Once the Greek people go to the forms in the coming months, they are going to choose between a party that leads the country into the future with safety, stability and growth and a party that wants to get Greece backwards. I have full faith in the citizens’ view, and I am confident that with their support and election, they will give the green light to our plan for a new four-year term with a clear majority.

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