“August 2018 marks the end of the mechanism of imposing specific policies on all Greek governments, opening up an area of freedom and giving us the opportunity of recovering part of our economic and political sovereignty,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said late on Tuesday in an interview with ERT3.
Regarding the Movement for Change leader Fofi Gennimata’s proposal to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ letter urging the revision of the constitution, Tzanakopoulos said that the government’s commitment to the constitutional review process was never abandoned. “Gennimata’s proposal, although delayed, is totally welcome,” he said, adding that “it will be discussed between them, if they so wish, but also in the framework of parliamentary procedure.”
On the FYROM issue, the government spokesman said there has been progress in talks, given the change in extremely nationalistic viewpoints held by its previous governments. He said FYROM needs to amend its constitution “to cover the condition of erga omnes”, guaranteeing that the name Greece and FYROM agree upon will be the one used for all purposes. He added that “the ball is in our neighbours’ court right now, and they need to take a few more steps in order for us to come to an agreement.”
As for the two Greek servicemen detained by Turkey for crossing illegally into its territory during a border patrol, Tzanakopoulos rejected the opposition’s criticism and said, “initially the government tried to resolve the issue directly at low level and when it saw that Turkey is delaying or obstructing an issue that could have been resolved in 5 or 10 days, if not within the day, as it used to do in the past, then it was forced to raise the issue at international fora.”
The decision, he said, proved correct because the EU was prompted at the EU-Turkey Leaders’ Meeting in Varna to state for the first time that Turkey’s accession talks are conditional to its respect of human rights, and the EU made specific reference to the two soldiers and Turkey’s behavior in terms of the Cyprus EEZ.