This government is “consistent in its promises” and “has the courage to recognize and try to correct any obstacles and delays it comes across,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at a press conference in Patras on Wednesday.
Speaking at the end of a tour of Achaia prefecture in northern Peloponnese, Mitsotakis spoke of the projects slated to be built in the region, some of which he toured on Tuesday, reiterating that the railroad project in particular linking Athens and Patras will turn the western port city into Greece’s gate to Europe.
Mitsotakis repeated that his government is “committed to completing the four-year term” before elections in 2023, and criticized the main opposition SYRIZA for “resorting to toxicity in so-called scandals, under a ‘yellow (press)’ political confrontation, which Syriza is very adept at.’
In terms of auctions of primary homes for outstanding debts, the premier said, the government policy “offers very many options to citizens to preserve their assets. Tens of thousands of citizens have reached repayment agreements to protect their assets, especially their main home. Auctions are a very small exception” to this. Mitsotakis also accused Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras of hypocrisy. “He was the prime minister who instituted and legally favored the funds that bought out non-performing loans, and a total of 30,000 auctions took place during his rule, while I never saw him at the time rush and show any great interest in people who were losing their homes,” Mitsotakis said.
On the issue, the country is “facing an issue with the rise in cost of borrowing, so I have asked the Finance ministry to exhaust all possible options for borrowers, in order to see what we can do with the issue, in consultation with the banks,” he added.
Speaking of Greek-Turkish relations, the Greek premier said that Türkiye has become “unpredictable, contentious, and often aggressive” yet his government “wants a sincere dialog with Türkiye, with which we are condemned by geography to be neighbors.” He added however that “we want dialog on a single and fundamental issue that is the cause of our basic differences decades now – the delimitation of the maritime zones in the Aegean and the East Mediterranean. We are in no way willing to conduct talks with something absurd. No Greek prime minister is ever going to discuss issues of Greek islands’ sovereignty.” He added that it is Greece’s obligation to strengthen its defense and improve the Greek Armed Forces’ deterrence to the highest degree possible. “Greece is not a revisionist power. It is a power of stability and peace and collaboration in the East Mediterranean,” Mitsotakis reiterated.
Mitsotakis also spoke of the “extremely encouraging first results” of exploration for hydrocarbons in Greece, and said the issue is particularly important now that Europe “is fervently seeking to decouple from its dependence on Russian natural gas.”