ATHENS – “Despite the skepticism of those who deny any positive development for our country, at least three conclusions from the visit of the German chancellor to Athens are clear and indisputable,” government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said during a press briefing on Monday.
“First, Germany is adopting a clear position against the Turkish threats and in favour of the Greek positions. It is not acceptable, the chancellor stressed, for one partner to challenge the sovereignty of another, while he added that the German federal government supports the resolution of open issues between the two countries through dialogue on the basis of international law.
Secondly, Germany has drastically changed its opinion about Greece. ‘My delegation and I’ – said the chancellor – ‘came to a new Greece’. Despite the fact that we have all been affected by the current crises in Europe, it is clear that the economic reforms in Greece have paid off and the country’s dynamic [progress] is evident. The chancellor also recognised that our country is acquiring an important role for the energy future of Europe, both with the development of Renewable Energy Sources and with the creation of new infrastructure that makes it an energy hub.”
He also noted that “thirdly, cooperation between the two countries is expanding in all sectors: commercial transactions, investments, tourism and defence.”
The government spokesperson went on to the energy crisis: “It is well known that the government – from the first moment the energy crisis began – has been working and cooperating with our partners in the effort to formulate a common European political response to high energy prices. Already, important proposals of the prime minister – such as the cap on natural gas prices and common supplies – are on the negotiating table. An ally in this effort is the fact that the markets, recognising the prospect of a common European reaction, have already proceeded to reduce the price of natural gas.”
At the same time, he said, the government continues to intervene both to support society with a series of measures and to implement the national plan to reduce the burden caused by the surge in electricity prices. The mechanism for the immediate recovery of “surplus revenues” of electricity producers and their return to society has so far yielded more than 2.5 billion euros, while it has already been adopted by Europe and is being implemented in several member states.
Oikonomou spoke about the achievements of the Greek government with reference to the large support programme, the reduction of taxes and unemployment, the increase of the minimum wage. “Greece shows resilience in a global hurricane of crises because the government acts with a plan, with knowledge, with professionalism and with political humanitarianism,” he pointed out.