Main opposition SYRIZA could vote against the defence agreement signed on Tuesday between Greece and France in Paris when it goes to Parliament in Athens next week unless two key points of the deal are clarified, the state-run Athens-Macedonian News Agency has cited party sources as saying.
Speaking to a meeting of party officials on Friday, SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras is reported as registering an objection to articles 2 and 18 of the agreement, which outline the terms of a mutual defence provision.
The leftist leader argues that the agreement fails to clarify whether France would come to Greece’s assistance in the event that its maritime and/or exclusive economic zones come under threat or attack. Likewise, he says it is not clear whether France would expect Greek support in war zones such as in Africa’s Sahel region.
While expressing his support for the agreement – which also contains the terms of Greece’s purchase of three navy warships with the option of a fourth – in general terms, Tsipras said it is “recklessly and shoddily written” and lacks important details.
“They need to change it or make specific clarifications. Otherwise, SYRIZA will be compelled to vote against the agreement, leaving the government to shoulder the burden of responsibility for these two harmful provisions to the country’s interests,” Tsipras was quoted by the AMNA source as saying.