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Greece: MP says it is ‘fatal mistake’ to trust France

September 7, 2020 at 12:57 pm

French President Emmanuel Macron (R) and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speak following their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on 29 January 2020. [LUDOVIC MARIN/AFP via Getty Images]

A member of the Greek parliament has criticised the government for allying with and placing its trust in France. Communist MP Liana Kanelli said that France is only showing support for Greece because of its own interests in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Nobody is coming to Greece because they love us,” said Kanelli during a television talk show. “They are not dying for Greek interests.”

France is supporting Greece in its dispute with Turkey over territorial maritime rights in the Mediterranean. According to the MP, her country has made a “fatal mistake” in trusting the West European country.

She warned Greece about what she believes are France’s ulterior motives, and pointed out that former French President Giscard d’Estaing had called for Greece’s suspension from the EU despite supporting its membership. In 2015, d’Estaing called Greece’s membership and adoption of the Euro currency in 2001 a “mistake”; criticised Greek monetary policy; and claimed that Greek leaders “neither wanted nor planned to follow Eurozone policies.”

READ: Macron’s ‘red lines’ against Turkey reveals France’s neo-Napoleonic mission

French politician and former presidential candidate Alain Juppe has also condemned Greece. In 2017 he said that it must be expelled and suspended from the currency “without drama”.

Such examples of French attitudes towards Greece, insisted Kanelli, should preclude her country from putting its trust entirely in France. She noted that Turkey is a regional superpower with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as its strategic leader who protects his country’s interests.

Kanelli’s comments come after months of increasing tension between Greece and Turkey, in which Athens had condemned Ankara’s exploration and drilling for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Although Turkey has been constantly calling for talks and a settlement to the dispute, even temporarily ceasing its drilling operations in doing so, Greece repeatedly sabotaged those offers by militarising some of its islands in the Aegean Sea and by attempting to limit Turkey’s territorial waters by signing a maritime deal with Egypt. It also pulled out of NATO-backed talks with Turkey last week.

France has supported Greece in the dispute, increasing its military and naval presence in the region and calling on the rest of the EU to condemn Turkey and impose sanctions on it.

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