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Politics

Mitsotakis: We Will Win the Fight against Sports Violence

December 10, 2023

ATHENS – In his weekly social media post on Sunday reviewing the government’s work, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis referred to Greek-Turkish relations particularly in light of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s official visit to Greece, and on sports violence in Greece.

Speaking of the Declaration on Friendly Relations and Good-Neighbourliness signed with Erdogan in Athens on Thursday in the context of the 5th meeting of the bilateral High Level Cooperation Council, Mitsotakis described it as “a true leap forward in Greek-Turkish relations, particularly if we recall the tense climate of the last years, and it justifies our choice to keep communications channels open at all levels, seeking prudently and decisively – and without self-deceptions – to coexist with our neighbors on the basis of what unites us.”

Mitsotakis added in his post that disagreements will exist, but “if our differences are not bridgeable, they should not automatically lead to tensions and crises, but to collaborations benefitting both sides,” as the signing of the Declaration calls for. Noting also that this was the first High Level council between the two countries in seven years, he referred to the 15 declarations, agreements, and memoranda of understanding signed on Thursday as “a product of the new page in our relations”.

The PM also referred to the violent sports incidents outside a sports arena on Thursday that resulted in the detention of 424 people (released Friday), and the serious injuries of three policemen, one of whom remains in intensive care. The incidents occurred during a Panathinaikos-Olympiacos volleyball game at the ‘Melina Mercouri’ sports arena in the Rentis neighborhood of Athens.

He said that more detailed statements on sports fans violence will be delivered on Monday. “But I want to express my anger at this incident, and to reassure you that as difficult as the so-called sports fan violence is to fight, we will continue the effort and the struggle to win this battle, regardless of how high up those who incite it or at the very least tolerate it may be. We owe this to the policeman fighting for his life but also to Alkis, Michalis, and all victims of sports violence,” he said, and asked the public to pray for the young policeman in hospital.

In his weekly review, the prime minister also referred to an infrastructure project in Thessaly, where storm ‘Daniel’ cost the lives of people and animals and destroyed cultivations, saying that it would “resolve the water supply issue for 55,000 residents in 42 communities in the eastern section of the region of Karditsa.” The Smokovo Lake, he explained, will be supplying the area on a daily basis with high-quality drinkable water, abolishing water drilling in the area and relieving local water companies from the energy and environmental cost.

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