Without reference to the sanctions against Turkey and the debate on the opening of accession negotiations against Turkey, Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrived in Brussels yesterday to participate for the first time at a Summit meeting as prime minister.
On the contrary, he hides behind the European position on the refugee issue and the Turkish invasion of Syria, while the government’s communications staff argues that “we go to Brussels without having anything to prove – but to show where we want Europe to be in the next decade”.
In his remarks at the European People’s Party Summit, Mitsotakis did not fail to refer to populism many times: “I think we have proved that we can defeat populism and I believe that our victory is also a victory for democracy in Europe, as we managed to put the far-right Golden Dawn out of Parliament.
We have an ambitious, reform agenda ahead of us. We are facing challenges at home and abroad. Our top priority is to bring back growth, attract investment and make sure we come out of the vicious circle that has held my country back for more than a decade. At the same time we are facing challenges abroad. Greece remains a pillar of stability in an extremely volatile region. But we are here to reaffirm our commitment to the need for stability in the region and to work to make progress in that direction”.
Asked about the Brexit deal, Mr Mitsotakis replied: “We need to see it first. It is good news that we have an agreement, and we must ensure that it is approved by the Council”.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis participated in the EPP Summit at noon and will attend the Summit of the European Council today at 3.00 (Brussels time). While attending the ECL, he received congratulations from right-wing leaders for his election, while he held meeting on the sidelines of the Summit, according to government sources, where he “had the opportunity to discuss the European Union’s attitude towards Turkey, developments on Brexit and the burning issue of the migrant/refugee issue”.
In particular, the Prime Minister had the chance to have short conversations with the new President of the European Commission, Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen, the President of the Spanish People’s Party Pablo Casado and the EPP Parliamentary Chair Manfred Weber, while he had bilateral meetings with the prime minister of Ireland Leo Varadkar and EPP president Joseph Daul.
According to government sources: “Our key message from Brussels is: Greece has a Prime Minister who enjoys international acceptance and finds again its place within Europe – we are not asking, we are discussing and we are all present.
Greece is the necessary player in our wider region
-for the Refugee problem,
-to denounce Turkey’s actions in Cyprus
-for Syria that has brought Ankara into tension with Europe and America,
– for the Balkans.
Greece is not a problem, but it is actively involved in developing solutions
– There is constant contact of Athens – Maximos Mansion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defence – with Berlin, Paris, Brussels and Washington for the last 10 days.
– We stand by the side of Cyprus and help develop appropriate alliances on the issue of sanctions against Turkey, which violates international law by doing research in waters belonging to Cyprus.
– We have an active role in shaping the European Union’s policy towards Turkey – with which we maintain contact channels at many levels.
– We are in constant cooperation with Brussels, Berlin and Paris on the Refugee problem – we are highlighting the problems, we are reporting on our actions, we are pursuing a new policy, both for tackling the flow as a whole and for the asylum.
– The Prime Minister will make contacts at the Summit with his counterparts from the countries of the south – Italy, Spain – that affected by the problem.
The government staff says that “Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been the first Greek prime minister in a decade to go to Brussels without having his presence or policy questioned. He has one of the highest rates in Europe – 40% – and a strong parliamentary majority. At the end of a year with four elections, the 2019 budget closes with a surplus, while the 2020 budget is fully approved by the institutions. The government’s tax reduction and growth program has been fully embraced by our partners. Foreign investors are also keen on Greece – especially on the subject of green energy. The country has seen positive publicity to foreign media for the last hundred days”./ibna