Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' trip to Germany and Austria on Monday and Tuesday begins a new cycle of diplomatic moves to secure practical support for the ongoing crisis on the Greek-Turkish border and thus, by extension, on the southeastern border of the European Union. According to government sources, it also aims to strengthen economic relations with key countries as part of the effort the Greek economy is making to become investment grade and open the door to the inflow of international capital.
After successfully blocking Turkey from flooding Greek - and European - territory with tens of thousands of migrants and seizing the opportunity to show the new EU leadership Turkey's true intentions and actions, Greece is now trying to capitalise on its success as regards diplomacy. Europe already takes a different view of Turkey's movements to blackmail the EU and affirms Greece's role as a factor for decisively dealing with similar problems, as well as a firm ally in the quest for more Europe.
Mitsotakis will now seek a double reinforcement of Greece's position in Europe: On the one hand, he wants to invest in his shared understanding with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the transition of the Greek economy to a phase of strong development, prosperity and enhanced bilateral co-operation by expanding into new dynamic areas, but also to try to bring Germany even closer to Greek positions on migration and Turkey's role in this.
On the other hand, Mitsotakis' ambition is to further deepen Greek-Austrian bilateral relations, following the explicit support from Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.
The prime minister's programme on Monday, March 9, in Berlin, is as follows:
- At 14:00 local time (15:00 Athens time), he will speak to the Economic Forum.
- At 14:30 local time (15:30 Athens time) he will meet Angela Merkel.
- The prime minister will then meet German investors and at 19:00 local time (20:00 Athens time) he will participate in a panel discussion organised by the German Council on Foreign Relations.
The programme on Tuesday, March 10, is as follows:
- At 08:00 local time (09:00 Athens time) the prime minister will participate in a working breakfast with institutions of the German economy.
- He will then depart for the Austrian capital where he will meet with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz at 15:40 local time (16:40 Athens time).