Panos Kammenos: Democracy and Sovereignty at Stake in Greek Elections

Panos Kammenos: Democracy and Sovereignty at Stake in Greek Elections

Athens, January 10, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Mr. President, what is at stake in the January 25th elections? Is the Greek Prime Minister’s claim that we are moving towards an exit from the euro and the EU valid?

The sovereignty of the country is at stake in the January 25th elections. If the Greek people continue to support a government that has admittedly and consciously handed over Greek sovereignty in order to achieve a European Union not as envisaged by its founders but in the form of a “banking union” that will bring the downhaul of flags and bring about the catalysis of nation-states.

Democracy is also at stake; if Greeks continue to vote for the outgoing government after it overthrew parliamentary democracy through a series of legislative acts – a government that continues to violate the Constitution by implementing taxes Greeks cannot afford to pay, effectively abolishing parliament and allowing the country to be governed via e-mails – or if people opt for a government that won’t take orders from abroad but it will adhere to the constitution which states the state must be governed by those chosen by the people.

The protection of private and public property is at stake which is now being handed over to lenders and foreign speculators.

You have stressed that the Independent Greeks will be the guarantors in the next government that will protect the national sovereignty and dignity of the Greek people. Can you secure this in a SYRIZA government?

If I cannot guarantee it I will throw off the government.

The dilemma “yes or no to Europe” is reiterated in these elections. Greece has turned its attention to the EU in recent years. Do you believe Greek foreign policy should change direction and explore other options?

The Independent Greeks party supports Europe; but the Europe of nation-states, the Europe which Constantinos Karamanlis brought Greece into, that of equality, unanimity and respect amongst nation-states; not the Europe of German suzerainty which effectively abolishes the idea of Europe.

We defend the Europe that promotes the cooperation of nation-states and free movement of people; we don’t favor a Europe where the German Chancellor and German Finance Minister act as leader and minister respectively of every country in the European Union.

Does that mean we should also look elsewhere in our Foreign Policy?

There is no doubt about it. In the past, every Greek government and great leader – such as Constantinos Karamanlis, Andreas Papandreou, Constantinos Mitsotakis and Costas Karamanlis – made openings to other countries like the U.S., allies that through the Marshall plan helped us after the second war with loans which rebuilt the country’s industry from the beginning. It was the period Greek shipping grew strong (with the Liberty ships) and the steel industry was created. They never demanded interest or to pay back so called loans with the blood of the Greek people.

Even Russia – on Wednesday I must tell you I will be in Moscow for talks with the Russian government in the Duma and the Patriarch of Russia – that shares religious beliefs with Greece, has interest in Greece and we the embargo must be lifted immediately coupled by the progress of energy policy which Costas Karamanlis introduced; the continuation of the pipeline that passes through Thrace and supports the growth of the region and Greece.

Cooperation with other countries must also be expanded, such as China. We see that China now has extended the silk road through to Egypt and this must continue towards Greece. We supported the Cosco deal in Piraeus – the concession agreement, not the sell off of the port – as Greece could and should become the gateway for China and Asia to Europe and the wider southeast Mediterranean region.

Your election program says Greece must have a prominent place as political and economic force in the Balkans. Do you believe your party’s immutable positions on issues such as the FYROM name, the Great Albania, Turkish expansionism and the Cyprus issue help towards this?

Greece cannot abandon its national demands, its sovereignty, territorial integrity and the truth against those that maintain territorial aspirations over Greece like Skopje. Skopje must understand that the use of the term “Macedonia” is nothing more than a fancy of some people that started the “cold war” period. A decision was made by Greece in the leader’s meeting chaired by Constantinos Karamanlis not to grant use of the name “Macedonia” to anyone. This decision cannot change without a political party leaders Council convening.

Turkey is a strong economic force in the region. Many Greek businessmen are active in Turkey and many Turkish businesses have invested in Greece. Is it time Turkey became our business partner that could maybe lead to a peaceful resolution of bilateral disputes?

If Turkey stops constant provocations in the Aegean, Cyprus and Thrace, and understands that this is in its own interest too, we could cooperate. This can’t happen when Turkey constantly violates Greek FIR in the Aegean and especially in Fournoi, Ikaria, Ai Stratis and Castelorizo. If it wants dialogue, Turkey cannot continue with naval blockades off Castelorizo or attempts to overturn the Treaty of Lausanne through the Consulate of Komotini. These are hostile actions and Greece cannot recede all the time. If Turkey truly wants friendly relations with Greece it must stop every provocation, it must recognize the Republic of Cyprus which is a member of the EU and it must respect human rights. Turkey cannot continue to not accept the agreement for the return of illegal immigrants and be a “dealer” country that sends illegal immigrants to Greece (while Greece adheres to the Dublin regulation and cannot take large inflows of illegal immigrants). We will proceed with the abolition of the Dublin II Regulation until Europe realizes that it is obligated to force Turkey to execute the agreement for the return of illegal immigrants. Good relations are in Turkish hands right now and it choses to continue provoking having the “casus belli” as a weapon. I believe that the pipeline agreed between Putin and Erdogan – and if it passes through Thrace – could be a basis for better solutions that those found up until today through NATO.

Are you concerned that the economic crises in Greece and Cyprus could lead to a solution to the Cyprus issue that will not be to the benefit of Cyprus?

I believe a country should not be negotiating national issues when it is in economic crisis. It is not the best moment in time to be holding any negotiation on the Cyprus issue. Furthermore, plans like the 2nd Anan plan have no chance of being accepted by Greece.

The upsurge of nationalist movements in Europe, and the Balkans primarily, causes concern. How could the phenomenon of nationalism be tackled best in your opinion? Does Golden Dawn have a future in Greece?

Golden Dawn has no future in Greece. It is not even a nationalist party. It is a neo-Nazi party which has nothing to do with patriotism which is different to ultra-nationalism and different to Nazism. Patriotic forces have no relation to neo-Nazi organizations. Patriotic forces ensure and uphold the country’s rights without spreading hatred.