Government Pleased with Greek Delegation's Visit to Washington, Petsas Says


Government spokesperson Stelios Petsas. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS - "The prime minister and the government are very pleased with the Greek delegation's visit to Washington," government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday during a press briefing.

"In all his meetings, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to geopolitical challenges in the region and stressed that we are part of the solution and not the problem. He underlined that the important agreement on the East Med pipeline is not directed against anyone, but is a project of peace and development, in which everyone can participate. He stressed that the 'memoranda' that Turkey has signed with Libya are illegal and invalid, that they violate Greek sovereign rights and destabilise the entire region. He has made clear Greece's positions on illegal and provocative Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and has made it clear - in a way that was perfectly understood - that we will not tolerate any violation of our sovereign rights," Petsas said.

He noted that the prime minister referred to the F-16 upgrade agreement, expressed Greece's interest in participating in the F-35 programme, and agreed to begin negotiating immediately, with a view to acquiring a squadron of these aircraft.

"In all his meetings, Kyriakos Mitsotakis highlighted the recovery of the Greek economy, explained why Greece offers fertile ground for investments and reiterated his call for investment in our country," Petsas said, noting that the rapid improvement in the outlook of the Greek economy had been acknowledged and there was encouragement for US investment, even from US President Donald Trump.

"Encouragement that finds many large US companies ready to invest in Greece, as confirmed at the prime minister's meeting with representatives of 22 giant enterprises," he added.

Petsas said that Greece has already recovered credibility, as demonstrated by the upward course of the Greek stock market and the rapid decline of interest rates, meaning a sharp reduction in borrowing costs.

On investment, he said that nine strategic investments of 2 billion euros have been approved. Eight major projects totaling 1.4 billion euros, as well as plans to integrate 180 companies into the new 1.2 billion euro development law have also been approved. Petsas noted that in the second half of 2019, payments of 150 million euros were approved for 145 projects. The performance in the first half was just 1/3 of that amount, that is under 50 million euros."

"Restoring confidence, lowering borrowing costs, reforms and reducing bureaucracy will lead the country to high and sustainable growth this year and in the years ahead," he added.

Concerning the prime minister's programme, Petsas said that from Wednesday, January 15, Mitsotakis will begin a round of meetings in ministries.

"The first meeting will be with the leadership of the tourism ministry, followed by the labour ministry on Friday, and the education ministry next Tuesday," he said.

On Thursday, January 16, the prime minister will address the presentation of the Agios Dionysios, Piraeus urban regeneration programme.

On Friday, January 17, he will speak at the National Development Conference on the new NSRF 2021-2027, in the presence of the Vice-President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, and the new European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira. In the afternoon he will meet with the Archbishop of Athens and all Greece, Ieronymos.

He will attend a memorial service for the victims of terrorism at the War Museum on Monday, January 20. In the afternoon he will have a meeting with the Metropolitan of Orthodox Armenians of Greece Kegham Khatcherian and the President of the Armenians of Greece, Pavlos Tsolakian.

He will preside over a meeting of the New Democracy parliamentary group on Tuesday, January 21.

The prime minister will be at the World Economic Forum in Davos as of Wednesday, January 22.