Alternate Foreign Minister, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis has stated that Greece is prepared for Brexit, whether this happens with or without a deal.
He made the comments during a meeting on Wednesday held at the Foreign Ministry on the repercussions of Britain’s departure from the EU.
“Regardless of what political developments there might be in the UK, Greece must be prepared for a disorderly Brexit. This means that we must be in constant communication with all production associations, in order to answer their questions and prepare the Greek state machinery in the best possible way in the case that the UK leaves the EU on October 31 without a deal regulating trade relations between us, the movement of goods, the movements of citizens, educational, medical or any other transactions,” he said.
The Minister assured those in attendance, representatives of business associations and trade union groups that the Foreign Ministry was at their side and there will be an open channel of communication with the Ministry for any issues that arise.
Konstantinos Fragogiannis, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs was also present at the meeting and noted that the Ministry is prepared for both an orderly and no-deal Brexit in terms of diplomacy.
Varvitsiotis explained that the meeting was held to listen to the concerns of the social partners and include their proposals in Greece’s strategic plan for handling the UK’s departure.
A concern raised at the meeting was the possible impact of Brexit on Greek exports, including unfair third-country practices with respect to protected designation of origin products (PDO and PGI), such as feta cheese and Kalamata olives.
Among those attending the meeting were representatives from the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV), the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the Union of Greek Ship-owners, the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship, the Central Union of Chambers, the Hellenic Confederation of Professionals, Merchants and Craftsmen (GSEVEE) and the General Confederation of Employees of Greece (GSEE), as well as the head of the Independent Authority for Public Revenues Giorgos Pitsilis, the head of the Economic and Social Council of Greece Giorgos Vernikos and the head of the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association Christina Sakellaridi, among others.