Greek PM: We will not tolerate actions that violate Greek sovereign rights

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ATHENS – Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke to Reuters news agency during his visit to the Aegean island of Astypalea, where he said the transition to green energy sources “is a glimpse of the future”.

This transition to clean energy across all of the island’s utilities, he told the global news outlet, “is happening much faster than many had anticipated.” He added that this will eventually be implemented in most of the country’s islands.

Asked about Europe’s transition to an emissions-neutral economy at a time when the EU is trying to reduce its dependence on Russian fossil fuel exports, the Greek Prime Minister said that “achieving our green transition becomes a priority not only for environmental reasons, not only becoming the first continent in the world to have a neutral climate footprint, but it is also important to strengthen our strategic autonomy.

“Greece’s sunlight and wind power can produce the cheapest electricity we can have, it’s plentiful. We don’t need to rely on anyone else,” he noted.

Regarding potential energy shortages during this summer, Mitsotakis pointed out that Greece “has been moving away from lignite for some time, but we still have lignite plants capable of providing backup power when needed. In addition, we have enough gas reserves to generate electricity from it, while our renewable energy sources operate at full capacity during the summer, whether it is wind turbines or solar panels.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaking to Reuters news agency, June 3, 2022. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

On the handling of the current energy crisis and the cost of electricity at European level, Mitsotakis said: “We raised this issue, I myself raised it with the European Council. Most of my colleagues are now of the opinion that the functioning of the European electricity market needs to be rethought. And we need to be able to take even more drastic measures, like a temporary cap on the wholesale price of gas, to make sure we have a well-functioning market.

“The truth is”, he noted, “at the moment in Europe we are buying natural gas at the highest price compared to other continents or regions”, so it is “a problem short term that we have to deal with.”

Regarding the prospect of transporting natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe via Greece, Mitsotakis said “we have to look at all the options and find the cheapest way to transfer the available gas from Cyprus and Israel to the European gas market”. Such a solution “would certainly involve Greece”, he stressed.

Regarding relations and tensions with Turkey, Mitsotakis observed that Greece “will not tolerate an aggressive attitude, revisionist rhetoric and actions that amount to violations of Greek sovereign rights and Greek sovereignty.”

He added that “it is up to Turkey to change its attitude. We were never the ones who overstepped the bounds or became aggressive. We are absolutely certain, however, that we have the capability to defend our country should such a need ever arise.

“We are also convinced that we have allies who support us, such as the European Union and the United States. I don’t see why Turkey should complain every time we say we are right, or when we argue that our differences should be resolved in accordance with international law, or that we cannot accept irrational claims of sovereignty over the islands. Greek.

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