Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today (9:45 pm, New York time).
The meeting is more to test the waters, as it is the first meeting with Erdogan in Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ capacity as Prime Minister.
It comes at a time of increased Turkish provocations in the Cypriot EEZ, while migration flows to the Aegean islands have increased. These are issues that have been raised at the level of the European Union, notably the immigration issue, with Turkey having been asked to implement the agreement. The Greek government is firmly in favor of dialogue, but Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said that if Turkey wants a restart of bilateral relations it should show it in practice.
The Prime Minister will then attend the Bloomberg Global Business Forum at 11:00 local time, where politicians and business people are involved. On the sidelines of the Forum, Mitsotakis will have a bilateral meeting with Michael Bloomberg and is expected to give a live interview on Bloomberg TV. Immediately after the Bloomberg event, which has attracted the attention of major US economic players, US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will host a lunch, to which a large number of investors will be present.
The prime minister’s schedule is vacant on Wednesday afternoon, but there is the possibility of a meeting with President Trump, which was canceled yesterday due to internal political developments in the US, after the request of the Democrats to oust President Trump. The US president canceled all of his scheduled appointments yesterday, including that with the French president.
The prime minister’s program, however, will normally end on Wednesday night with a speech at 19:30, at a homecoming event in Astoria. The prime minister will refer to the issue of the vote of Greeks abroad.
Contacts to attract investment
Yesterday, the Prime Minister had a series of contacts and meetings, in order to promote the country’s new image and attract international investors, but also to develop the country’s bilateral relations.
Particularly interesting in this context was Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ participation in the Atalantic Council, where participants’ interest was focused in two areas: the Greek government’s reforms and geopolitical developments in relation to Turkey and its actions towards the Republic of Cyprus. The prime minister presented the government’s financial plan, while regarding the geopolitics the prime minister noted the need for Turkey to deescalate its actions in relation to Cyprus, but also for Turkey to stop intervening in the discussions of the two communities to find a solution.
Of particular interest, however, was the presence of the prime minister at the Goldman Sachs event, which was attended by some 30 big businessmen. The debate was mainly about banks and their prospects. There was also interest in the privatizations of the energy sector, namely HELPE, DEPA, PPC, HEDNO, which are more aggressively promoted by the Greek government. There was also a discussion about the fiscal margin and its use. The position of the Greek Government, of course, is that we use it carefully and always in consultation with our partners. At all meetings with international investors, the prime minister puts forward his plan for reforms, tax cuts and aggressive privatizations.
The Prime Minister also had his first meeting with Zoran Zaev. The discussion, according to government sources, was in good spirits. Mitsotakis said that if he were the Prime Minister he would not have signed the Prespa Agreement but, as things stand, he will implement it. The Greek side mainly raised the issue of trade names. Zaev said that his side will not delay in implementing the points of the Agreement and that its implementation will take place as planned. He linked the implementation of the Agreement with the other conditions set by the EU, as he is particularly interested in promoting the accession process. The issue has been raised at EU level as well, but the majority of states believe that the Western Balkans should proceed along the EU path together, while Zaev would like his country to move forward on its own.
The prime minister’s meeting with his Australian counterpart was also of interest. Mitsotakis has accepted an invitation and is already planning a visit to Australia early next year. Australians have shown interest in investing in Greece.
In January, the prime minister will visit Armenia. The meeting with the president of the country he had yesterday reaffirmed the traditionally good relations of the two countries. The Armenian president informed the prime minister that he would proceed with recognizing North Macedonia under its new constitutional name./ibna