Saturday, June 15 2024

Greece seeks Estonia’s digital guidance

Greece seeks Estonia’s digital guidance

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who wrapped up a trip to Lithuania and Estonia Tuesday, declared that he had used Estonia’s digital e-government as a blueprint for his own reforms carried by the Ministry of Digital Governance and called on Estonian technology firms to invest in Greece because a lot more things remain to be done for Greece to embrace the digital age.

Conducting a sizable part of citizens’ business with the state online has been one of the conspicuous successes of Mitsotakis’ government, in large part due to the efforts of his Digital Governance Minister Kyriakos Pierrakakis.

In Tallinn, as in Vilnius Monday, Mitsotakis’ clear condemnation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, found him in sync with both governments, who have been at the forefront of a hard line against Russia. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas thanked Mitsotakis for Greece’s aligning itself early with a line of tough sanctions against Russia.

Mitsotakis replied that Greece is a friend of the Russian people and not of the Russian government and that Greece will “always support” European Union pressure against Russia to hasten the end of the war in Ukraine.

Mitsotakis also said clearly that if a ban on transporting Russian oil is imposed, the sizable Greek-owned merchant fleet would comply. But, reflecting the anxieties of Greek shipowners, he added that “we must not shoot European shipping in the foot” to the possible benefit of third countries that would profit from an EU ban, adding that, while imposing measures that will hurt Russia, the bloc must not hurt itself and must “maintain a balance.”

In a press conference following their meeting, Kallas and Mitsotakis mentioned the energy crisis, with Kallas noting that now is the time for action, even though no one can predict the short-term fluctuations of natural gas.

As he had done in Vilnius, Mitsotakis criticized Turkey’s ambivalent stance in the war, noting that it was the only NATO country not to impose sanctions on Russia. Greece and Estonia, Mitsotakis said, are firmly on the side of those who are against changing established borders. Mitsotakis, who met Estonian President Alar Karis late Monday, also had talks with Parliament Speaker Juri Ratas.