ATHENS — Goverment spokesperson Stelios Petsas, in an interview on Wednesday to TV OPEN, referred to a "Die Welt" article saying that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ordered his generals to sink any Greek ship or bring down any Greek fighter jet, noting that it is a serious newspaper and that the article has not been refuted by either by the Turkish government or by the Turkish Embassy in Berlin.
"This proves once more who is provoking and who is a factor of stability in the region. We are working together with our partners in Europe and in the world, always guided by international law, the law of the sea and good neighbourly relations. We underline that Greece is a factor for stability and that the other side are those stoking tension in the region and desiring destabilisation at any cost," he added.
Petsas said that it had already become apparent after the recent EU Foreign Affairs Council that a list of sanctions against Turkey is on the table and will be activated if Turkey does not act to de-escalate tension.
"So, we are going to the EU Summit with the hope that Turkey will have changed its attitude and this list of sanctions will not be activated, fully or partially," he underlined.
He said that the red line for Greece is to protect its sovereign rights, adding that even the US President has shown interest.
"The weight of USA is too great for someone to not take into account. So, what the Turkish president will do is his own affair but he can't ignore the entire international community, which has supported the Greek positions and has intervened in one way or another… We continue to react with composure and vigilance and do not comment on either the comments of Turkish officials or their leaks," Petsas added.
Referring to the strengthening of the Greek Armed Forces, Petsas said that the government is taking action at three levels, which Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will present in detail on September 12-13 in Thessaloniki.
Finally, regarding the pandemic and the support of the economy, he said that Greece will succeed in the second phase, as it succeeded in the first phase. "Now we have a picture of the real losses in many sectors, such as in tourism, catering and elsewhere, and we are ready to present a new framework in Thessaloniki that will support working people and the social fabric and help us get to the other side [of the crisis]. There will be an extension of measures that have worked, there will be new measures that are more specifically targeted to the sectors that have been stricken and there will be some horizontal measures as well."