Greek Foreign Ministry mobilises for the referendum

Greek Foreign Ministry mobilises for the referendum

Athens, June 30, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Meeting with the ambassadors of member states of the European Union, US, China, Russia and Israel had Monday the Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias.

The Greek Foreign Ministry initially told them to tell the media of their countries to stop misrepresenting the meaning of the referendum and secondly not to consider as paradoxical something that is customary (referendum) in Europe when it is being done by Greece.

In this logic, he reminded the referendums in France and especially Ireland when the country refused the European treaty the remaining 20 countries had voted for, forcing the EU to review the text.

Kotzias told the ambassadors that the restrictive measures on banks “in reality have been taken by the European Central Bank through the stop of ELA”.

“Greece has no desire to leave the euro nor has said such a thing but has no intention to submit”, Kotzias noted in statements after the meeting. “Greece has chosen to fight for democracy”, he said.

Besides the admonitions, Kotzias also requested the help of Ambassadors to continue the great current of tourism to Greece, “because it is in the interest of the EU and Greece”.

Asked whether there is likelihood of recurrence of negotiations, Kotzias replied that “the Greek government said the proposal we made remains on the table and we are open to negotiations”, adding however that “a large resounding ‘no’ will give wings to the government for a better deal than the one that was offered to us”.

The Greek FM also had a telephone conversations with his counterparts from Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Russia, Sergey Lavrov, and Cyprus, Ioannis Kasoulides, on Monday afternoon.

According to the announcement of the Ministry, Kotzias assured his counterparts that no concern arises from the conduct of the referendum, stressing that Greece will not leave the eurozone, but instead strives to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement with partners.

During the talks, the Foreign Minister exchanged views with his counterparts on the latest developments and the decision of the Greek government to proceed with the referendum, saying that this “is a fundamental process of the European project and has been performed many times in the past”.

Kasoulides, on his part, assured Kotzias, always according to the announcement of the Foreign Ministry, of the support of the entire political leadership and the people of Cyprus in the decisions of the Greek government’s efforts to resolve the issue of negotiations and to reach a mutually beneficial agreement with its partners within the eurozone.

The statement of the Russian Foreign Ministry says that Kotzias briefed the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on the situation in the negotiations between Athens, the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF ahead of the referendum of July 5.

The two ministers discussed the state and prospects of further development of bilateral relations.

Meanwhile, in an interview with AMNA, Kotzias says: “For me there is neither an exit from the euro, nor an submission – there is Europe as a battlefield where I use all the tools that are provided by institutions and the treaties of the EU”.

Regarding the referendum, Kotzias says it is a democratic right of the people to express their opinion and not at all “the tale of Grexit”, pointing out that they should “cease to dramatize a very natural thing, the expression of democratic will of the people in a hot issue for us”.

“We were a little unpredictable. That is, were they expecting from us to surrender everything and that is why they are so upset?”, he wonders.