At a time when Turkey is escalating its threats in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made it clear that "if Turkey attempts to violate our sovereign rights, it will get a response from both Greece and I'm sure from Europe as well." His comments were made during an online discussion with historian Niall Ferguson at the Delphi Economic Forum, Ta Nea reported.
"Our relationship with Turkey is difficult and Turkey has been extremely provocative in its activities in recent months, especially with regard to the signing of the agreement with Libya on the delimitation of maritime zones, which we consider completely invalid, without any force," he said.
Mitsotakis added that the leading EU official's visit to the Evros border during the migrant standoff in March, encouraged by Turkey, is “an indication of solidarity.”
“Greece is a member of the European Union, our security concerns are also the security concerns of the Union, when we are guarding our borders, when we are protecting our borders, we are protecting the borders of the EU,” he said.
The PM also referred to the two major crises that the government was forced to face in a short period of time, the crisis in Evros and the pandemic. Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that he is proud of the way the citizens reacted.
Mitsotakis explained that he decided to quickly enforce a lockdown because he saw what was happening in Italy and was faced with the choice of whether to wait to see more or act quickly. "I had a choice between the economic consequences of the actions we would take, and the protection of human lives of those living in Greece," he said.
"As for the economic impact, I think those who argued against the lockdowns, because they wanted to continue the economic activity, were wrong," continued Mitsotakis.
"Eventually we were justified and the citizens understood that we did the right thing," he said. However, the Greek PM stressed "the pandemic has not been defeated and I will not become tired of telling Greeks that we must not fall victim to our success, we must not relax too much. We need to be careful, wear masks where experts tell us we need to - on public transport or places where there is close contact - watch out for vulnerable people... We did an excellent job in tracking in Greece and we managed to keep the number of cases low."
"The big lesson I learnt is how to make quick decisions, under tremendous pressure and with limited information," said Mitsotakis, referring about the coronavirus pandemic. "You gather as much information as you can, but you will never be absolutely sure, if you wait until you get to the point where you are absolutely sure then you will not make any decision. At some point you have to trust your data and instinct and do what you think is right," adding that " As the saying goes, if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen."