Tsipras calls for the voting of the Defense Cooperation Bill with USA to be suspended

Tsipras calls for the voting of the Defense Cooperation Bill with USA to be suspended

Alexis Tsipras, during the almost one-hour meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office, called Kyriakos Mitsotakis to postpone the voting of the bill on upgrading the defense agreement with the United States, until Greece safeguards the States’ support for its sovereign rights in practice.

In addition, Alexis Tsipras called on the Prime Minister, “given the circumstances and conditions that require national consultation, to stop the pageants in the process of electing the President of the Republic. To speed up the renewal of Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ term of office and shortly thereafter convene the Council of Political Leaders, in order to devise a national strategy”.

The full statement by Alexis Tsipras is as follows:

“I had the opportunity today to talk with Mr. Mitsotakis regarding regional developments, the Greek-Turkish relations and his recent trip to the US.

I expressed our concern around the growing tension in the region and especially regarding the danger of getting the country in new trouble now that we have come out of the 10-year roller-coaster that was the economic crisis.

I also underlined how problematized and deeply concerned – as all Greek people, I believe- we were with the silence that spoke levels during his visit, not only by President Trump but by the entire American leadership, against the severest case of escalating Turkish aggression over the last 20 years.

In the debate on the budget in Parliament I had highlighted that no one should take us for granted.

Back then, Mr. Mitsotakis had said he endorsed that belief.

Yet in practice, he did the opposite.

He said that Greece is a predictable ally, that is, granted.

He gave everything he had – and more – before even asking for what he was entitled to receive.

And this is a wrong tactic.

The crucial question on every Greek citizen’s mind today, regardless of party preference, is whether our strong allies will pressure Turkey not to climax its provocations and stand in practice by our side, in the event that the Turkish side intensifies these provocations.

Without clear assurance on this possibility, I believe it is wrong to move on as if nothing happened.

I therefore called on the Prime Minister to suspend the adoption of the bill to upgrade our defense cooperation with the United States, until support for our sovereign rights is secured in practice.

I also told him that we would support the strengthening of the armed forces, as we have already proven.

However, we are awaiting a solid argumentation on the need to purchase the F35s, as we must not repeat an irrational arms race now that we have survived the recession.

He also informed me of his intention to change the electoral law again.

I expressed our vertical disagreement with the revival of a system of voting inequality.

At a time when understanding, a meeting of minds and programmatic convergence is needed, he unfortunately insists on the concept of one-party governments.

Those governments that led us to the crisis,that is.

Finally, I have asked Mr. Mitsotakis, given the circumstances that require national consultation, to stop the pageants in the process of electing the President of the Republic.

To speed up the renewal of Prokopis Pavlopoulos’ term of office and shortly thereafter convene a Council of Political Leaders to devise a national strategy.

I hope Mr. Mitsotakis’s insistence on options that cause conflict to be over soon.

I also hope that he will proceed to make choices and initiatives that do not divide but unite, on the basis of a common national strategy, especially when it comes to national issues.

Because we must all strive not to lead the country towards a new crisis, this time of a national character”. /ibna

Photo: Andrea Bonetti