Greece warns Turkey: De-escalation or sanctions

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas stated that if Turkey does not take actual steps toward de-escalation, “things will become very difficult for [President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan at the European Council.”

Speaking on Skai TV on Saturday, he warned Turkey of more European Union sanctions over its energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“For the first time we have a list of sanctions, which are strict and can be implemented in whole or in part,” Petsas underlined.

The bloc has already imposed minor sanctions against Ankara over the matter and EU leaders are set to tackle the issue again at a summit in Brussels on September 24-25.

“The NATO secretary general’s talk about an alleged agreement should not have taken place. He had to stay at the technical level, as per his proposal, and not create impressions either abroad or at home. We have said many times that whoever holds public office must act with the seriousness required by the office he holds,” adding that the only open issue with Turkey is the delimitation of maritime zones.

Meanwhile, Vice-President of the European Commission for Promoting European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas expressed his view that it is “perhaps the biggest and maybe the last opportunity for Turkey to get back on the path of de-escalation and dialogue.”

His comments were made at the general assembly of the Federation of Industries of Greece (SVE), held via video conference on Friday evening

“It must be made clear in every direction – and I believe it has already been made clear – that no one can blackmail Europe with yells or threats. It is time for Turkey to decide whether it should participate in the table of an honest and fruitful dialogue with its neighbors and the EU as a whole, or whether it should look for another place in the world, with other allies. As far as we are concerned, we are looking for a framework of Euro-Turkish reference – one that will definitively protect Greek and Cypriot national aspirations – to come about by the time of the EU Summit of September 24-25,” he stressed.

Turkey is “a great and difficult partner for Greece and Europe, but this relationship is not a given or exists by default, but must be built and proven in practice,” he noted.