FM Gerapetritis: No concessions on national positions

Relations of good neighborliness with Türkiye, Greece’s traditional enemy, is absolutely in the interests of Greek national interests, Foreign Affairs Minister George Gerapetritis said in an interview on Monday.

“We remain focused on our national positions. We will continue to uphold this with prudence and vigor,” Gerapetritis said, adding that good relations with Türkiye will benefit younger generations “but we all realize that there will be no concessions on national positions.”

Commenting on the election to the European Parliament under ruling New Democracy (ND) of ethnic Greek Fredi Beleri, who is detained in Tirana, the Greek FM said that MEPs will be sworn in at the European Parliament from July 16 to 19, but today’s circumstances are not very encouraging about Beleri being able to attend. Beleri has been sentenced in a first instance court and is expecting an appeals trial. “I believe we will have a decision that will be a decision of European logic. Albania wants to be part of the European family. It ought to follow European rules as well. It is not possible an MEP-elect is denied the right to assume his duties,” Gerapetritis said.

Asked to comment on the rise of far-right parties in Sunday’s European elections, Gerapetritis asserted that the rise to the right of ND is not excessive but remains absolutely controllable compared to European standards. The extreme right is far from becoming a ruling power in Greece, especially if one sees what is happening today in countries with traditionally strong democratic institutions.

In terms of the lead the Greek Muslim minority party of Equality, Peace, and Friendship Party in Rodopi and Xanthi, northern Greece, Gerapetritis responded, “The equality and egalitarianism of Greek Muslims is absolutely guaranteed and can be seen in practice and in everyday life.” He added that the party’s strengthened support is also related to the fact that the traditionally strong Greek parties such as SYRIZA and PASOK-KINAL did not include Greek Muslim candidates from Thrace, though ND did.