SYRIZA, following what it believed was a failure of a meeting between Trump and Mitsotakis, is now focusing on withdrawing its support for the Greece-US Defense Cooperation Bill upgrading which includes four military bases.
“The Prime Minister watched President Trump practically support Turkey, and yet he moves on to the upgrading of the defense cooperation as if nothing happened”, a high-level SYRIZA official emphasized, saying that he “is throwing away a powerful ace up his sleeve during the negotiations for the interests of Greece in the region”.
This is a bill that was drafted by Alexis Tsipras’ government, but as senior party officials point out it was done at a time when the States had publicly and straightforwardly expressed their support for EastMed through the establishment of strategic dialogue, while the 3+1 scheme with Israel, Cyprus and the US had been crystalized with the State Department’s clear position that the US would support and protect the project.
Alexis Tsipras, however, speaking to “Vima” newspaper, warned that the government should not file the bill without having safeguarded Washington’s commitments first. In the light of Trump’s silence regarding Turkey’s illegal activity, a stance that emboldens Tayyip Erdogan, as the SYRIZA spokesman pointed out, during negotiations Greece should protect its secret weapon of defense co-operation, in order to add pressure to the US regarding the Greek-Turkish relations, Alexis Tsipras’ people comment.
These issues are expected to be raised by Alexis Tsipras himself before the Prime Minister, who will return from the US to brief the political leaders. The SYRIZA president will request detailed information on the outcome of the meeting and highlight the need for a cross-party consultation on a credible national strategy, amid a period of intense turmoil in the region and extreme Turkish provocations. “Greece can and should continue to constitute a factor of peace and stability in the region, especially amidst this intense, if not out-of-control situation”, the main opposition states.
A key prerequisite for the construction of a concrete front inside the country is to hasten the election of the President of the Republic, with SYRIZA reiterating that the current President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, must be re-elected. The former Prime Minister is expected to call on the current Prime Minister to understand how critical those times are, and to leave aside the “presidential pageants”.
Meanwhile, SYRIZA will seek to speed up the re-election of Pavlopoulos “by a large inter-party majority” and shortly thereafter call for the convening of the Council of Political Leaders under the re-elected President, so that political forces can agree on the basics of the national strategy against Turkey.
Therefore, it is very likely that Mitsotakis’ contacts with the political leaders, due to end on Monday, could also set in motion the process of electing the President of the Republic. /ibna