President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou received the leader of the opposition PASOK-KINAL party Nikos Androulakis on Wednesday afternoon at the presidential mansion. It was his first meeting with the president since his election as the party’s leader.
Androulakis said that he had asked for a meeting because of the continuing illegal invasion of Ukraine by Russia, the worsening energy crisis affecting all of Europe, particularly the more vulnerable households, and the unacceptable provocations from Turkey’s leadership against Greece’s sovereign rights, which greatly exceed the boundaries set by international law and the conditions for good neighbourly relations.
“For this reason there must be a comprehensive response from Europe that will concern the arms embargo but also a new architectural relationship between the European Union and Turkey, which will secure our sovereign rights,” he added.
PASOK-KINAL’s leader also raised the issue of the phone tapping attempt targeting his mobile phone, saying this was not a personal matter but an issue of democracy, which must be settled without leaving any ‘shadow’ on the political system, and that this was primarily the job of the government.
“It is inconceivable that there should be islets within the operation of the state that some consider to be above the law and beyond parliamentary control,” Androulakis said. “I truly hope this affair becomes an opportunity to further strengthen independent authorities in our country…so as to ensure a state governed by the rule of law…”
President Sakellaropoulou also noted the provocative statements made by Turkey’s president, stating that Greece is “always ready for dialogue with respect for international law and good neighbourly relations but also always ready to defend our national integrity and our sovereign rights.”
On the phone tapping issue, the president noted that she had adopted a clear position from the start and that the bodies responsible for dealing with it were Parliament and the parliamentary examining committee, as well as justice, to which Androulakis had already resorted.
“The case has already been brought before the authorities and all of us desire that the investigation be completed and yield results as quickly as possible. Any extension of this outstanding issue will be harmful for our democracy. Your case has shown in the most eloquent way the need to improve the existing legislative framework and protect the National Intelligence Service on the level of legislation and good practices,” Sakellaropoulou said.