Petsas to Turkey: Greece is prepared to defend its sovereign rights

Greece is following Turkey’s actions and is ready to initiate another set of responses, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday in an interview to Real FM, adding that Greek islands have an inalienable right to their continental shelf.

The spokesman was responding to a formally published request by Turkey’s petroleum company to drill in an area overlapping the Greek continental shelf. Greece presented the Turkish ambassador with a demarche on the issue on Monday.

“At a political level, we are moving on a three-fold path,” Petsas said, “the fact that International Law has our back, the fact our allies stand beside us, and the fact we have the power to do what is necessary to defend our sovereign rights. Our islands have a continental shelf.”

On economic measures taken in response to the novel coronavirus crisis, he said that the government’s stance focused on early action, to restrict contagion and to ensure that Greece could overcome the crisis with fewer casualties than in other countries.

Responding to a front-loaded economic aid program supported by the main opposition to help struggling businesses and secure jobs, the spokesman said, “If we had spent all our powers, as Syriza wanted in its initial plan of March or early April, we would not have had the ability to do all of what we are doing now.” He added that most of the opposition party’s proposals are based on the mentality of “the highest bidden wins” and some of them, like additional hiring in the public health sector, are like “knocking on open doors”.