Kyriakos Mitsotakis: First aid to farmers in Thessaly to be increased to €10,000

Kyriakos Mitsotakis

In a radio interview on Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that he has decided to increase the first aid to farmers in Thessaly who were affected by the bad weather Daniel, from €2,000 to €10,000. He also left open the possibility of government intervention in agricultural fuel.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the issue of inflation, sending the message that "the state will be ruthless" against "inflation of greed" while reaffirming his commitment to increasing wages, with a target of €950 for the minimum wage by the end of the four-year term.

On the F-35 agreement

The first question Mitsotakis received in his radio interview on Tuesday morning was about the sale of F-35s from the United States to Greece. The Prime Minister said, "the letter sent by Secretary of State Blinken is the best proof of the strategic depth of Greek-American relations. Greece has secured a qualitative advantage for the Air Force but also a significant contribution with free material that will strengthen the Armed Forces."

"It was a long negotiation but also proof that the United States saw Greece as a factor of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. Not many countries have free access to military material from the United States. Because obviously, whatever we can get for free replaces costs that we would have to make to strengthen our deterrent capability in the future," added the Prime Minister.

As he stressed, "Our goal was always to have a qualitative deterrent advantage over Turkey and in the Air Force, we have achieved it. The long-standing position of foreign policy was that we cannot impose on the United States what weapons it will sell to Turkey. But we can ensure that weapons are not used against NATO allies. The United States, if they believe that a defence procurement must be stopped, have the ability to do so."

He noted that "we must preserve the good climate with Turkey because I see and hear discussions and analyses in a climate that suggests confrontation as if we forget that we made significant steps with the Athens Declaration. We have put the Greek-Turkish relations on a corridor and are obligated, as those involved in the public dialogue, to preserve it."

Asked about Erdogan's latest statement, Mitsotakis said that "anyone who believes that the approach with Turkey will progress without turbulence is out of place and time. I have the experience to distinguish rhetorical acts from actions on the ground. At the same time, I announced that I plan to visit Ankara in May in response to Recep Tayyip Erdogan's official visit to Athens in December last year."

On the cost of F-35s

As for the cost of the F-35s, Mitsotakis explained that "the Ministry of Defense has not yet determined the first phase. We have the ability to buy up to 40; we will not do it all at once because it is an expensive purchase. We have secured fiscal space for a squadron with a delivery time of the end of this decade."

"Turkey has a significant export defence industry, and we are running to cover the distance from the past. We also have our sights set on the future with drones or unmanned submarines. We must be at the forefront of these developments," the Prime Minister added.

Returning to the cost of the F-35s, he asked for patience until the negotiations were completed. "We need both weapons systems and a plan for continuous support so that the weapons systems are not depreciated, and that is what I asked the new leadership of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) to do, to make sure that the existing defence systems are working properly before we proceed with new procurements." He said there would be a similar negotiation for the Meteor missiles.

On the Greek Armed Forces

"Greece was rewarded for its foreign policy. The Armed Forces are in better shape than they were in 2019. Greece has a tangible and specific benefit from this policy, manifested in access to much more advanced weapon systems and free military material that would not have come if we had a different foreign policy. We have every reason to be satisfied with the progress we have made given the obligation of the country to spend more on its defence than a European country," Mitsotakis continued.

At the same time, he left open the possibility of strengthening the staff of the Hellenic Navy: "When we talk about specialized weapons, the people who wear the Greek flag and handle them, must be well paid. We have made progress

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024