Mitsotakis: Greece’s problems with Turkey are EU problems

Mitsotakis: Greece’s problems with Turkey are EU problems

“Every day we see the results of our policy in Greece’s international image”, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with the French political magazine Politique Internationale. Referring to Greece’s excellent performance in international markets, the Prime Minister points out that our country “is no longer discussed for the wrong reasons, and this is now clearly seen by foreign financial houses and investors. We are definitively turning the page of the crisis, creating a framework of security and credibility, without the bumps, bureaucracy and obsessions of the past that will allow Greece to take off”.

In the latest issue of Politique Internationale, which will make the stands today, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announces that he will formally raise the issue of the reduction of primary surpluses in mid-2020. “I believe we are meeting all the conditions to achieve the desired result”, he notes, explaining Greece’s point of view: “The primary surpluses of 3.5% of GDP was agreed on with SYRIZA when no one trusted the Greeks. This is no longer the case today and it would be absurd to maintain them. I intend to voice our request by putting forward two arguments: the reversal of the economic climate in Greece in the positive direction, during the term of our government, and the ability to refinance our debt in very favorable terms”.

“The Greeks and especially the middle class were crushed by taxes. The more you tax people, the more they distrust the state and have an incentive to evade taxes”, the prime minister points out, alluding on SYRIZA’s and ANEL’s days in power, while presenting his government’s policy: “My government and I apply what is self-evident, with the reduction of the tax burden that has become unbearable and the stimulation of growth by increasing productivity. SYRIZA pressured the middle class and every productive citizen, treating them as a source of tax blood donation, removing the protection they had enjoyed so far. On the contrary, we are restoring, day by day, with vigorous interventions and methodically, the confidence of the citizen in the state. We are healing the wounds left behind by the populist exercise of power”.

The Prime Minister refers extensively to the “excellent relations” he maintains with French President Emmanuel Macron and expresses his support for the reforms proposed by Mr Macron “for the functioning of the eurozone, the common budget and the strengthening of defence cooperation”. At the same time, Kyriakos Mitsotakis agrees with the “green” agenda put forward by the French President: “I fully support President Macron in his fight against the effects of climate change. His vision of a “green Europe” is mine as well. In my every initiative for a stronger and united Europe, my support is a given”.

“Any problems Greece has with Turkey or any other country are automatically problems of the European Union”, the prime minister said. “When Turkey redesigns the map of the Mediterranean, it does not only provoke Greece. It blatantly provokes Europe. And Europe – of course, along with Greece – should react accordingly. To remind Mr Erdogan that our borders are immovable and non-negotiable”, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed, adding that “our country has been a timeless pillar of stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

The Prime Minister makes a special referrence to the latest Turkish provocations, on the invalid Turkey-Sarraj Memorandums and on the trespassing in Cyprus’ EEZ. “Greece cannot remain idle in the face of such actions. We owe it to the protection of the Greek nation – but also to the whole of Europe”.

In addition, Kyriakos Mitsotakis says that Turkey does not respect the refugee – migration agreement with the EU, also noting that “Europe does not seem to adopt the problem as its own. What I believe and have shared many times with EU officials and my counterparts is that immigration is a European problem. It is not a Greek problem that only occasionally becomes European”.

Asked, finally, what he would consider a success at the end of his term, the Prime Minister replies: “Personally, I will be pleased to see Greece move on the path of social justice, with prosperity and development, for all citizens. I will be pleased when we succeed in fully securing democratic institutions against populism. And finally, I would like to see the young scientists and all those who have left their homeland in search of better conditions in their professional lives abroad, returning to Greece. And together with them, lead the country to digital integration and eco-development. In a word, I would like to unleash the forces of innovation and creativity that have always made the Greek people unique”./ibna