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Politics

Mitsotakis, Tsipras Clash in Greek Parliament on Armed Forces

February 7, 2023

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis started his speech in the parliament on Tuesday with a reference to the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, the Greek aid sent to the neighbouring country but also the communication that both the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou and himself have had with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mitsotakis was speaking during a debate on a defence ministry bill.

“Turkey is facing an unprecedented disaster. The first C-130 has already arrived in Turkey but it is certain that a great mobilisation on the part of the international community will be required,” the prime minister said, adding that “every such major natural disaster reminds us that, as a state, we must invest in civil protection structures.”

Mitsotakis then referred to the deaths of the two Hellenic Air Force pilots killed in a fatal accident in an F-4 Phantom jet, noting that the draft bill was being discussed in the shadow of this tragic event, and underlined: “I am here to talk about two legislative initiatives that should unite the political forces. One regulates important issues concerning the personnel of the Armed Forces, while the second serves to protect democratic normality from its enemies. The first comes to regulate critical issues related to the career and salary issues of the Armed Forces’ personnel,” he added.

Debate in the Plenary Session of the Parliament and vote on the principle, the articles and the whole draft law. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

Tsipras: Armed forces and national issues do not belong in the ‘arena of petty party politics’

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Alexis Tsipras, speaking in parliament on Tuesday, accused Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of seeking to use the armed forces and national issues “in the arena of petty party politics”, and of “pretending to be the only patriot and protector of national defence” while wagging a finger at his political opponents over their supposed lack of patriotism. Starting his speech during the debate on a national defence ministry bill, Tsipras expressed his support and solidarity with the Turkish and Syrian people following the devastating earthquake in their area, noting that “our country and our people will stand by our neighbours who are suffering”.

Debate in the Plenary Session of the Parliament and vote on the principle, the articles and the whole draft law. (Photo by Eurokinissi/Yorgos Kontarinis)

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