ESTIA: Germany is pushing Greece to demilitarise its islands close to Turkey

Greek Armed Forces Turk

ESTIA, the oldest newspaper in Greece still in circulation, had a headline claiming that Germany wants Greece to demilitarise its islands close to Turkey.

"Berlin is pushing Athens for the demilitarization of the islands," the ESTIA newspaper wrote on its front page on Friday.

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"YESTERDAY's [Thursday's] appearance of the German Ambassador Dr. Ernst Reichel before the Special Standing Committee on European Affairs of the Parliament was a real surprise. Not because the foreign diplomat was told that 'we can not show the utmost cruelty towards Turkey because if we do that we will destroy our ability to mediate.' When he appeared he did not understand the criticism leveled by Greece against Germany, because as he argued 'we are not neutral' and how 'at the next European Council we will address Turkey with the threat of the EU,'" ESTIA wrote.

"The ambassador's attitude was a real surprise, because behind his words, without being obvious, of course, an initiate discerned the Chancellor's ultimate aspirations for the Aegean," the newspaper continued.

However, the newspaper would then claim that Germany is pressurising Greece to withdraw its military from the Eastern Aegean islands while at the same time telling Turkey to disband its Aegean (Fourth) Army based in Smyrni (Σμύρνη, Turkish: İzmir).

"Berlin is pressuring Athens and Ankara at the same time to withdraw troops, with the Army and the National Guard leaving our islands and islets, and another for Smyrni," the newspaper said.

"This is something that is the goal of Erdogan, who for's appetite calls for the demilitarisation of Erimos, Agathonisi, Farmakonisi and Chios!" the newspaper continued.

As the German ambassador stressed, "The Chancellor considers that it is her personal duty to avoid a military conflict and to have a peaceful border."

Turkey, even if it withdraws its Aegean Army, will still have its eyes set on the islands if they are demilitarise so that they can have a repeat of the Cyprus invasion.