FILE - Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks to ND's Political Committee, in Athens, Nov. 14, 2022. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)
ATHENA – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis began his speech to the meeting of the political committee of the governing New Democracy party the evening of November 14 by emphasizing that after receiving its mandate in 2019, his government did what they said they would. He vigorously emphasized its accomplishments, saying, “we are invited here to highlight our work by confirming that ‘we said it, and we did it’. As a party, let’s follow the direction our [recent] Conference has set by marching alongside the citizen. And as the country’s first force, let’s ensure that Greece remains on the path of progress it chose in July 2019.”
And he addressed the voters as well, urging them, in the elections that will take place in 2023, to act as in the prior election, “blocking the path to calamity for a second time,” referring to the result of a return of SYRIZA to power. Mitsotakis continued in that vein, asking citizens for a “a second strong mandate to [secure] national progress, with stability, continuity. and consistency.”
The Prime Minister then spoke more ominously of the challenges he, his party, and the citizens are facing together, declaring that, “the collective energy of the country has been weakened by private interests.” That is because, he said, “the sweeping modernization of the country has disturbed those private interests, which are influencing the course of modernization from outside governing institutions. These centers would very much like to see a prime minister under pressure and a stuck government. Some are already showing us their teeth,” but he declared that he and his fellow New Democrats are not afraid of them.
Turning his attention to the president of Turkey, whose provocations continue, Mitsotakis said, “Mr. Erdogan does not hide that he would like to see Mr. Tsipras opposite him. But he has me. And he has me because this is what the sovereign Greek people chose and no one else. But I address Mr. Erdogan with sincerity when I tell him that while Greece has barred the door to confrontations, the window remains open to contacts. I understand that geography has placed us next to each other, and I will say again that I am a friend of the Turkish people. I expressed my disgust over yesterday’s terrorist attack in Constantinople, but we will not, and I will not be led into a dialogue of the absurd.”
Addressing the issue of electronic surveillance by the state, Mitsotakis spotlighted actions the government is taking to address legitimate concerns. Referring to SYRIZA’s efforts to profit from the controversy, he said, “our opponents learned nothing from the Novartis case. They cannot construct speculations on a single fact. The case lies with the justice [officials] who will do what is necessary to clarify it completely so that there are no shadows, and so that the clouds of toxicity that pollute the political atmosphere will be dissolved. There is no other refuge in democracies than justice and we will await its verdict. We have nothing to fear. We were very honest when we said that in the case of Nikos Androulakis an operational failure was identified. Responsibilities were acknowledged.”
Regarding the related issues, Mitsotakis said, “I was the first to take them up and talk about them. We immediately proceeded to a first solution, increasing the control filters on legal surveillance. Judiciary and parliamentary [bodies] were also activated, initiatives that the chairman of the PEGA committee recognized when he came here and had meaningful discussions with many state officials.”
The prime minister underscored that in the next few days a modern framework for the operation of the EYP intelligence service and for the security of communications will be presented and discussed. He said the proposed framework will make Greece the first country to explicitly prohibit the marketing, use, and distribution of malicious software .
He acknowledged, however, that his opponents will continue to play political games with serious issues. “While we publish surveys regarding our natural resources,” meaning hydrocarbons deposits in Greek waters, “they publish lists of pertaining to their own mud.”
VOLOS - Eight investor groups submitted expressions of interest for a majority stake of at least 67% in the Volos Port Authority SA, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), Greece's public asset development fund, said on Friday.
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