Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has commented on the recent tensions with Turkey, speaking in the context of his Reuters interview on the occasion of the Astypalea island green energy project.
Asked to comment on the Greek–Turkish relations, the message that he wanted to send to the neighbor country on the occasion of his visit to the remote islands of the Dodecanese, and whether he wishes to improve the relations with Turkey, Mitsotakis stated that “Greece will not tolerate aggressive attitude, revisionist rhetoric, and actions that amount to violations of Greek sovereign rights and Greek sovereignty.”
“I think it’s up to Turkey to change its attitude. We’ve never been the ones pushing the boundary in terms of aggressiveness, but we are very confident that we have the ability to defend ourselves should the need arise,” the Greek PM added.
He also pointed out that Greece is confident to have “allies who support us, such as the European Union and the United States.”
“I see no reason why Turkey should complain every time we argue that we are right, when we make the case that our differences need to be resolved based on International Law and that we simply cannot accept preposterous allegations pertaining to the sovereignty of Greek islands,” Mitsotakis observed.
He concluded that “Turkey should not be surprised when our allies, also within NATO, state the obvious: that we are right when it comes to this issue and that there’s no other way to look at it…”
Greece’s view of the European energy crisis
In the same interview, the Greek Prime Minister spoke of the significance of Greece’s potential role in relieving the European energy crisis.
Answering a question about the prospect of transferring natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe through Greece, Mitsotakis opined that all options need to be examined: “We need to find the most cost-effective way of transferring the gas that exists in Cyprus, in Israel to the European market. Whatever solution one can envision, it will certainly have to involve Greece.”
On the management of the energy crisis and the cost of electricity at a European level, the Greek PM noted that he has been making the case at the European Council that they need to fundamentally rethink the way that the European electricity market is functioning.
“We need to be able to also use more drastic measures, such as a temporary cap on the price of gas, in order to make sure that we have a properly functioning market,” he told Reuters.
“The truth is that, now, in Europe, we purchase our gas at the highest possible price compared to other regions or other continents in the world,” he admitted, “So this is a short-term problem that we need to address.”
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