The Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos reiterated in the strongest terms the sovereignty of Greece and its will to defend its rights, in a message aimed at Skopje, the European Union and Turkey.
“Macedonia is one and it is Greek,” and that history was based on facts, not fantasies. “Claims on territories and names violate European law. As long as they continue to make such claims, they will never join the EU and other international organisations.
“We say to our neighbours and to everyone that in spite of the crisis for us Greeks there can be no concessions when it comes to defending our history, our present and our future. We claim nothing that does not belong to us but we also do not intend to give away the things that do belong to us, based on our history and the legal order that governs the global community and the EU,” he said.
Pavlopoulos was speaking at a dinner yesterday in his honour at the Thessaloniki Officers’ Mess by Lieutenant General Alkiviadis Stefanis, Commanding General, C Army Corps/NRDC-GR, and made it clear to Greece’s neighbours and the wider international community that despite the financial crisis, Greece will not retreat or make concessions concerning its rights and sovereignty.
“Anyone imagining that the crisis would undermine the morale of the Greeks and the Greek armed forces would be making a great mistake, as others had done in the past” he added.
Addressing Ankara, he noted that the Lausanne Treaty was similarly part of international law and that there were sanctions for any failure to implement and adhere to it. “Greece will not tolerate either direct or indirect dispute of its national sovereignty,” Pavlopoulos said.
Regarding the Cyprus issue, the president said that the continued presence of Turkish occupation troops on Cyprus was a source of shame for the EU and international community.
“Cyprus and Greece will not allow a repetition of the adventure with the Annan plan…. they say no to the solution of a confederation, because a confederation within the EU is inconceivable. The Cyprus issue can only be solved on the following terms: a single international personality, single nationality, full sovereignty, no occupation armies and no guarantees,” Pavlopoulos said.