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Marinakis-Pavlos
Φωτο: Konstantinos Tsakalidis / SOOC

Dialogue with Turkiye does not mean agreement but presenting greek positions

Noting that the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President on Monday will be their fourth in the last few months, government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis said that a political dialogue.

Dialogue does not necessarily mean agreement and talking to Turkiye does not mean agreeing with it, government spokesperson Pavlos Marinakis emphasised in an interview with SKAI radio on Friday, covering current issues in domestic and foreign policy.

Questioned regarding the policy of rapprochement and the fact that Turkiye appears to have not fundamentally changed its policy but was continuing to talk of a 'Blue Homeland' and disputing the sovereignty of Greek islands, Marinakis emphasised that there was still "a long way to go".

"There is a difference that we must resolve in light of international law, the delineation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf. We are still far from this point but we are clear, there will be no concession as regards our sovereign rights...," he said.

Noting that the upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday will be their fourth in the last few months, he said that a political dialogue was underway "that has a way to go, there are the confidence building measures and the positive agenda."

Marinakis also stressed that the prime minister had never so far failed to present Greece's positions and not retreated an inch regarding the country's rights in all his meetings abroad, while gaining in credibility.

"It is of great significance what phase Greece is at when it goes to an important meeting. Greece is better defended, it has protected its borders...it has succeeded in entering into international agreements. There will therefore be no concession of any of our sovereign rights. As regards the Aegean, there is a single difference, the delineation of the EEZ and continental shelf, and nothing further..." he said.

Responding to critics who would like to see the prime minister's visit to Turkiye cancelled as a reprisal for the conversion of the Monastery of Chora into a mosque, Marinakis said the government's position was that dialogue should continue as "it has only done good". If dialogue were discontinued, he pointed out, there were issues that could simply not be raised, Greek positions that were now being presented strongly, such as those relating to the Muslim minority. Furthermore, the process had greatly improved the atmosphere and had tangible benefits, such as the greatly reduced airspace violations, as well as lower migration flows through Evros.

The spokesperson also devoted a significant portion of the interview to deploring the "path of toxicity" that he said was being embraced by main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis in his rhetoric, referring to recent statements by Kasselakis, while noting that such toxic rhetoric had never solved any problems.
He also spoke about the high cost of living, especially food inflation and the fact that this was higher than general inflation in Greece, acknowledging that this was a real problem but denying that Greece was "a champion of inflation" in the EU. Replying to the government's critics, he said they were concealing the whole truth.

"When only half the truth is told, that is the biggest lie. What is being said is one third of the truth, namely that we have low available income. What are the other two thirds? The second third of the truth is that we are top for the rate of increase of GDP per capita. The third part of the truth is that, when someone criticises, they must have a counterproposal," Marinakis said, adding that the main opposition proposals would cost between 15-29 billion euros and return Greece to the "dark days" of economic surveillance and bankruptcy.

Asked about the upcoming visit by Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama to Greece, Marinakis said it was not the government's job to interpret Rama's motives and also referred to the jailing of Himare's mayor-elect, Fredi Beleri, an ethnic Greek.

Regarding Beleri, he said that this was not a bilateral issue but an issue of support for the rule of law and human rights, while he criticised the stance adopted by Kasselakis toward Rama's visit.

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