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Dendias: HAI will remain in state hands

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Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias emphatically stated on Friday that it is not possible at the moment for the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) to leave state control, saying, indicatively, that “without the HAI we cannot live.”

 

The streamlining of HAI, he said, is an absolute priority as it is necessary for the uninterrupted support of the work of the Hellenic Armed Forces, stressing that the situation is “absolutely problematic.”

He noted in particular that the Hellenic Air Force has paid a total of 120 million euros for projects that were not implemented or whose completion has been delayed.

Therefore, the process of finding a strategic investor is obviously moving to a second, future phase.

 

Dendias noted that the decision of the Defense Ministry to take over HAI incurs more political cost and few potential benefits, but the current situation cannot continue.

 

With regard to Greek Defense Systems (EAS), Dendias noted that attention will turn there after HAI. The defense minister recalled that EAS was declared bankrupt for a 2006 ammunition order which was never delivered despite the constant extensions the company received.

Referring to Greece’s decision to send a frigate to join the multinational Operation Prosperity Guardian mission to the Red Sea to protect free navigation which is threatened by the Houthi rebels in western Yemen, Dendias said the mission will not start immediately, as prior arrangements need to be made regarding the form of the mission at various levels beyond the purely operational aspect.

Greece, he underlined, has chosen to play an increasingly outward-looking role in its immediate and wider region, and could not be indifferent to an operation such as this.

 

Dendias also noted the way in which the Greek frigate mission in the Red Sea was covered by the Turkish media, which revealed the perspective from which Ankara views Greece, through the prism of competition.