While addressing the European Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis underlined that "Greece in 2022 is nothing like the country of 2015," Mitsotakis also noted that "in the last three years, Greece has a government that is leading it to a new era".
Referring to the 2015 referendum, which was also held on the same date, Mitsotakis said that "it almost dealt a fatal blow and only when faced with the prospect of disorderly default did the then government back down. But the cost was high; banks closed, capital controls and an unnecessary third memorandum that led to a new round of austerity."
Nothing in Europe or in Greece is the same since the second decade of the 21st century began, Mitsotakis said and referred to unprecedented changes taking place throughout the world, triggered by the "unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine", while underlining that war hs returned to Europe.
He also spoke of the disturbance to energy markets and inflation that besiege all European governments, while in some countries the nightmare of food shortages is returning.
Mitsotakis said that the conflict in Ukraine is a turning point in Europe's course and that Europe should help prevent any kind of fait accomplis that other potential troublemakers might seek to mimic in the future. "This has a special weight for Greece and Cyprus," Mitsotakis said, referring to Turkey's constant aggressive attitude.
"The reply to Turkey's unsupported arguments comes from reality and international law. We counter its aggressiveness with our own preparedness," said the Greek premier.
He emphasised that Greece will not tolerate any dispute of its national sovereignty and territorial integrity. "I am certain that we will have you on our side in this constant struggle. We keep our doors closed to threats and keep our windows open to peaceful deliberations. Differences between countries are resolved with international law as a guideline and not through bullying," he said.
Turkey, he added, "instrumentalized the migration crisis in March 2020." Greece, he noted, "is defending its borders in full respect of fundamental human rights."
PM Mitsotakis meets with European Parliament President Metsola
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday met with European Parliament President Roberta Metsola before addressing a plenary session of the European parliament.
During their meeting, Mitsotakis referred to the national support programme to help households and businesses cope with higher electricity rates and repeated his proposal for decoupling natural gas wholesale prices from the final price of electricity for consumers. Additionally, he underlined that Greece can serve as an energy transfer hub for the wider region of the Balkans and Europe.
Mitsotakis also pointed to Greece's progress in the sector of economy, underlining the wide range of structural reforms to improve competitiveness and social cohesion.