In a thorough analysis of the results of the NATO Summit, the Minister of State, Giorgos Gerapetritis, proceeded, through the television frequency of ANT1, focusing, in particular, on the message of the American President, Joe Biden, to Ankara, which consists of the threefold security- peace-calm in the Aegean.
In particular, after mentioning that the two members of the North Atlantic Alliance to join, Sweden and Finland, according to the Greek approach, strengthen NATO’s security, he noted that during the Summit no issue concerning Greece was raised.
Or, rather, in the new strategic doctrine of NATO, reference is made to “ensuring territorial integrity, human rights and the observance of international law. These three characteristics are the basis of Greek policy”, he declared with emphasis.
Continuing, with the messages sent by the White House, “clearly President Biden set the framework: Security-Peace-Calm in the Aegean. If this does not qualify as a political directive to Turkey for calm waters in the Aegean, any other reading it is out of reality,” the Minister of State argued.
He did not fail to comment on the fact that the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said everything he had to say against our country while returning to his country on a flight. “The fact that President Erdogan, despite having many opportunities to raise the issue of sovereignty, demilitarization and bilateral relations during the NATO Conference, raised it on the plane, this means that: The statements cannot stand at any level of international forum because they are completely unsupported, and secondly they are basically made for the internal audience,” he explained.
Regarding the issue that arose with “Turkaegean”, Mr Gerapetritis clarified that “it is a trademark and not a sovereignty issue”. Citing, in fact, his previous professional collaboration with the Alicante office and the international patent office, he clarified that “these are offices that recognize commercial properties, whether trademarks or patents”, with thousands of applications. This does not mean that it is not “a particularly serious issue precisely because the productive causes of the matter may be moving in the diplomatic sphere of Turkey”. For this reason, “every legal possibility will be exhausted in order to reverse the situation, the legal tools are available”.
According to the Minister of State, “yes, there was a mistake. You don’t need an order to realize that there is a problem, you only need common sense. If the oversight was official or otherwise – the feeling is that it is official – the Sworn Administrative Examination will prove it”.
Highlighting the previous general functioning of the disputed office at the Ministry of Development and Investments, he observed that “it was not functioning in the proper way”.
Hence the government’s decision, “the monitoring of the signals at the international level should be undertaken by a technocratically powerful body, which will not operate in the traditional silos of the civil service, the Industrial Property Organization, and this happened at an unsuspected time”, he emphasized. He argued, however, that when the question of the transfer of authority came to the Parliament, the entire opposition had accused the government of abolishing the office.
“We have never had such high morale as Greeks”
In his interview, however, Mr. Gerapetritis also spoke about the morale of the citizens: “We have never had such high morale as Greeks. For the first time in decades, Greece grew, we had an extension of territorial waters up to Cape Tainaro. We have strategic alliances with France and the US, from whom we expect mutual assistance. We have the strategic demarcation agreement with Italy and Egypt. If we are not proud of our foreign and defense policy today, we never will be.”
On the subject of the economy, acknowledging firstly that “there is a big problem with accuracy and inflation, and everyone is affected, especially the most vulnerable”, he pointed out: “It is a universal problem, it is not easy to manage. If there was an easy solution, all the countries of the world would have adopted it”.
About 2.5 million Greeks in the program for the electricity voucher
Regarding the electricity bills, the minister, after quoting the government measures so far – for example, about 2.5 million Greeks signed up to the program for the electricity bill – commented on the readjustment clause: “Greece, in a very elaborate way, has a mechanism, which in effect neutralizes most of the readjustment clause”. Specifically, around 80% of the increase will be absorbed on average (and 100% if one is on a social tariff), so “the consumer on a variable tariff will see little of the increase in terms of the adjustment clause”.
On the other hand, he clarified that “it is obvious that if consumption increases, the bill will also increase”. However, the feeling of the Minister of State is that “the consumer will see a clear reduction with almost complete absorption of the readjustment clause”.
“An energy company can’t make super profits, and that’s a rule we set,” he added. So, he continued, the funding for the cancellation of the readjustment clause is through 90% of the extra profits of the energy companies, produced during this period.
He also underlined that the plan of the Greek state was approved by the European Commission without any comments, in other words “it was considered a model for the absorption of the clause”.
On the contrary, “the ceiling idea is unworkable”, he said, citing the examples of Spain and Portugal, where energy there is much more expensive than Greece, without any benefit for consumers.
In conclusion, “as long as Greek society is in difficulty, we, as far as financially possible, will strengthen it”, promised Mr. Gerapetritis. When asked if an accuracy check would be given, he replied that it would depend on the budget. Given the opportunity, “we will not endanger the country’s fiscal balance with huge consequences.”
However, he also reiterated the conclusions of a study prepared by the European Union on aid to the member states. “Greece, in relation to its GDP, has provided the largest aid that has been given during the economic crisis”, is the general conclusion of the report, with the Minister of State assuring that “we are doing everything in our power “.
For the scenarios of non-exhaustion of the four-year period, recourse to the polls is “an option that belongs exclusively to the prime minister’s discretion, according to the Constitution”, and the renewal of the popular mandate for a critical national issue is foreseen, the minister noted and added: “If there is such an appeal, it will be a genuinely critical national issue. The Prime Minister has an institutional approach to things and his intention, I think, is to exhaust the four-year period. In any case, because we have a lot of work ahead of us, our planning is planning exhaustion of the term”.
On the occasion of the prime minister’s invocation of the toxic climate, Mr Gerapetritis commented that “there is a political discourse with extremely divisive characteristics”. “Unfortunately, in fields where convergence is self-evident, such as national issues, public health protection issues, international diplomacy, defense, and in these there is an extremely divisive climate in the political scene, this climate, a product of time, is worsening and creating secondary consequences in the country,” he remarked when asked about the opposition’s tactics.