Elections in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey makes 2023 an 'unusual year', says Economou

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As elections are being held virtually simultaneously in Cyprus, Greece and Turkey this year, 2023 is an "unusual year" and was a factor that needed to be taken into account, government spokesperson Yiannis Economou pointed out in a radio interview on Tuesday.

"On the other hand, it would be good to avoid any 'dramatisation' that something bad will happen in that time or that we are on the verge of a 'hot' incident," he added, noting that Greece was ready to respond effectively to all challenges at any time, and in any situation.

He also repeated that the elections will be held near the end of the government's four-year term, as the prime minister has said, depending largely on the progress of the main outstanding issues in the government's programme.

Regarding Turkey, he said that Greece was open to dialogue but at the same time assesses the facts as they really are.

"The truth is that Turkey has been moving in the realms of the absurd for a long time as regards our ability to discuss, to resolve our differences on the basis of international law," Economou said.

"On the other hand, once the parameter [of upcoming elections] is out of the way in Turkey as well, with all that this means regarding the attitude, rhetoric and the approach adopted by Turkish officials, it will be a window of opportunity that needs to be taken into account," he added.

The spokesperson underlined that Greece will not budge on issues concerning its sovereign rights and international law.

He confirmed that the prime minister was mulling legislative action to prevent a party formed by convicted former Golden Dawn MP Ilias Kasidiaris from participating in the elections, expressing hope that this will find support among the other parties.

"When someone is convicted and tries to present a family member as the head of an organisation, hiding that he is its real leadership, democracy must not be naive in the face of such tricks and ruses," the spokesperson said.

On the phone tapping issue and the controversy surrounding the views of the Supreme Court Prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos concerning the operation of the Hellenic Authority for Communication Security and Privacy (ADAE), Economou underlined that the government neither disputed nor dictated the views of judicial officials or independent authorities.

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