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Greece is preparing for the big step on July 1st

Stelios Petsas, Greece’s government spokesman, outlined the government’s international initiatives, the steps taken to tackle isolated pockets of coronavirus in Greece and the government’s economic decisions, during a press briefing on Friday.

Among other things, Petsas said that the Prime Minister and the Government are developing international initiatives that aim to train a spotlight on Turkey’s ongoing provocative actions and protect Greece’s sovereign rights, as well as to attract investments.

Referring to Mitsotakis’ recent trip to Israel, he said that important bilateral agreements on tourism, cybersecurity and agriculture were signed during Mitsotakis’ visit, while issues relating to defence and energy were discussed.

He added that “Turkish activities that constitute a threat to the stability and security of the region” and specifically “on the recent incident of illegal and provocative Turkish behaviour at Greece’s sea, land and air borders,

The two sides also discussed Turkey’s destabilising actions in terms of Libya and the “null and void” agreement between Turkey and Libya’s government for the delimitation of maritime zones, he added.

The government spokesman stressed that the common belief in the geostrategic importance of the EastMed and their common volition to promote the related projects were reaffirmed at the same time.

Regarding the bilateral defence cooperation, he pointed out that Mitsotakis’ words could be developed, “not only operationally, but also in terms of defence infrastructure.”

He also noted that Mitsotakis held meetings with the heads of top defence industry and investment capital firms, inviting the latter to invest in Greece.

Referring to the PM’s participation in the European Peoples’ Party Summit, he said that Mitsotakis referred to the opening of Greece to tourism and repeated an invitation to organise the next Summit in Greece.

He put the Turkish provocation in the Mediterranean on the agenda, stressing on the one hand that Greece is not going to accept a violation of its sovereignty and on the other hand that the EU’s reaction must not remain at the statement level. He referred to the European operation “Peace” for the arms embargo in Libya and stressed that “we can not make decisions and then appear weak in their implementation,” said Mr. Petsas.

Regarding the progress toward post-lockdown normality, Petsas said that the government is preparing for the next big step in the process on July 1, “the day that the country’s gates will open wider for tourism.”

He reiterated that the first concern of the government is the safety of those working in the sector, of the islanders and of the visitors, adding that all necessary measures are being taken for the swift detection and tracking of possible coronavirus cases and the isolation of the areas where they are found.

Finally, he said that Mitsotakis was taking part in Friday’s EU Summit on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 and the proposals for the EU Recovery Fund.

According to Petsas, Greece’s positions are that the recovery fund should be big and ambitious, flexible and based more on subsidies than loans, while it should be be financed through a common loan.

“It is a historic opportunity,” added Petsas, stating that the “member-state leaders understand how historic this opportunity is and are called upon to meet the expectations of European citizens”.

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