Government spokesman Stelios Petsas, during the political editors’ briefing, attempted to gloss over the fact that Greece appears absent from foreign policy both in the case of Syria and – in particular – on the issue of the Cypriot EEZ and North Macedonia’s accession prospects.
Mr. Petsas also left open the possibility of an examination committee for the first half of 2015, though he added that “the only new evidence is Tsipras’ statement that he will disclose addresses and names. We are waiting for his Book”. A government spokesman declined to comment on Papagelopoulos’ pre-trial committee and his interview on Monday night, saying “we will see what he said”.
We are in support of the Western Balkan’s accession prospects
On the accession prospects of the Western Balkans, Mr. Petsas refrained from commenting on France’s “veto”, while noting that “we are always in favor of the Balkan accession prospect”. However, it turns out that “signed an agreement that is susceptible to the other country’s wits and this confirms our allegations of it being a bad Agreement. Beyond that, we want to improve the Balkan countries’ accession prospects”.
SYRIZA didn’t win the “Joker”
As for the issue that came up with the “Joker” film, Mr. Petsas said that throughout the period SYRIZA invested in a profile of Kyriakos Mitsotakis that does not exist, that he is neo-liberal and far-right. That profile collapsed on election night, with Mr. Mitsotakis leading a large center-right party. What we see now, Mr. Petsas continued, is that SYRIZA tries to repeat it, yet it did not win the “Joker” (lottery). As for the police, it commented that they were doing their job, abiding a law signed by Yiannis Ragousis. Whether this should be reconsidered is for the Parliament to decide.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the EU Summit
Stelios Petsas also spoke extensively of the recent EU Summit: “Regarding Syria, there was unanimous condemnation of the Turkish intervention and a call for a ceasefire. After all, both Greece and the EU have made clear from the first moment our opposition and the dangers that were created. As for the Turkish violations in the Cypriot EEZ, the Prime Minister managed to incorporate the positions of Greece and Cyprus in the Conclusions text. There has been ratification of the conclusions of the Council of Foreign Ministers, which has clearly defined the scope of sanctions for natural persons and companies involved in illegal drilling operations within territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.
Regarding the migration/refugee issue, the government spokesman pointed to the European dimension of the problem, reiterating that the policy of some countries that do not wish to participate in any sharing of the problem is unacceptable. Mr. Mitsotakis also referred to the need to develop a Plan B, in case we are faced with flows that are not manageable, sending a clear message at the same time.
After Stelios Petsas mentioned the government’s initiatives to reduce flows and increase returns, he was fast to warn economic immigrants not entitled to asylum that if they spend their money to traffickers – hoping they will cross permanently in Europe – in the end they will lose it. Because, even if they do manage to come to Greece, as long as they are not entitled to an asylum, they will be returned to Turkey. That is, we want them to know that they can no longer come here and apply for asylum in the hope that they will stay in our country forever, as was the case with the previous Government.
As for the government’s legislative initiatives, the government spokesman noted that he is already in Parliament and the development bill entitled “Invest in Greece” is expected to be adopted within the week.
The bill “On International Protection and Other Provisions” – already under public consultation – was also tabled last night to speed up procedures and tighten the conditions for granting asylum, Mr. Petsas informed the authors.
As for the vote of Greeks abroad, he noted, “Regarding the bill on the right of voters from abroad to vote from their place of permanent residence, consultations with party representatives are continuing in order for common ground to be found. This will be the third consecutive meeting today at seven in the afternoon. We reiterate that the red line for the Government is for the constitutional principle of the equality of the vote of Greek voters to be respected, no matter where they reside. For decades, the political system has failed to put into practice the spirit and writings of the Constitution regarding the Greeks abroad, who are registered in the electoral rolls, exercising their right.We hope this will happen tonight, at the initiative of the Prime Minister. This will be a historic moment. And a top act of consensus in the political system as well”. /ibna