“When a Greek is selected for such an important office, we must consider it a positive development” stated SYRIZA shadow foreign minister George Katrougalos on Wednesday, talking to Athens-Macedonian News Agency radio about the selection of Margaritis Schinas to serve as a European Commission vice president in the new College of Commissioners under Ursula von der Leyen.
“Mr. Schinas is a moderate, right-wing politician who at no time hesitated to present the Prespes Agreement as a positive achievement that stabilised that wider region, contrary to the New Democracy party which, at that time, was engaging in populism and dividing the Greek people,” said Katrougalos.
Referring to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ meeting on Tuesday with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Katrougalos said: “What we (SYRIZA) achieved over the previous period and with the positive agenda we had formed has to do with strengthening Greece’s positions and the total isolation of Turkey. This policy must continue, obviously with respect to international law but also with active initiatives. I don’t see such initiatives in the recent period. There was a continuation of initiatives we had launched – we welcomed and applauded the arrival of the US Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources and the meeting held in Athens, which essentially was our policy, but subsequently have seen nothing of note.”
Katrougalos also urged the prime minister “to more carefully read the briefings prepared by the foreign ministry,” since every single word counts in diplomacy, criticising Mitsotakis for his failure to specify, in statements on Tuesday concerning Turkey’s illegal behaviour “off the coast of the Republic of Cyprus”, that these illegal actions had occurred “within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”