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Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Greeks are absolutely safe

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Greeks are absolutely safe

The responsibility for the escalation between Greece and Turkey lies solely with Ankara, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with state broadcaster ERT on Tuesday, noting that it was the neighboring country that started overflights above inhabited Greek islands after his meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, where both men agreed to lower tensions.

Asked what Greece will do if logic does not prevail in Ankara and there is an escalation of tension, Mitsotakis said, “We will do whatever is necessary.”

“Greeks must feel absolutely safe, because the country not only has a strong force of deterrence which we have taken care to strengthen during these three years, but at the same time it has very strong allies,” he stressed. Mitsotakis raised the issue of Turkey’s aggression and its overflights during his visit to Washington and his speech to the US Congress, which angered Erdogan.

The Turkish leader claimed Mitsotakis had not kept to the agreement they made not to involve third parties in their differences. Erdogan said that, for this reason, he was done with the Greek prime minister and that he would never speak to him again.

Mitsotakis told ERT on Tuesday that he would be willing to meet again with the Turkish president. “Of course,” he said, recalling that the Turkish president said the same – that he wouldn’t speak to him again – after the crisis in Evros two years ago.

On the domestic front, and with regard to soaring prices, the prime minister referred to the intervention that will take place next week on the issue of gasoline. “The way we have intervened so far gives you an outline of how we may intervene from now on, perhaps in a stronger way,” Mitsotakis said.

The aid, he said, will be “for the coming months,” stating that there should be relief for the citizens, especially in view of the summer holidays. With regard to elections, he reiterated that they will be held at the end of the four years.

“Elections are held whenever the Constitution requires it, at the end of four years, and not whenever it suits the parties. So I believe that the national interest is served by stable electoral cycles,” he said.