Monday, 21 March 2011

 

Q: We are happy and honored, ladies and gentlemen, to have on the phone the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Evangelos Venizelos. Good morning, Minister.

Ev. Venizelos: Good morning.

Q: How do you see the situation in Libya evolving?

Ev. Venizelos: We still have a lot of ground to cover, I must say. The situation is not at all simple and no-one can safely predict what will happen. The truth is, however, that an international correlation is now in force, applying strong pressure in the internal affairs of Libya as well.

Tags: Interviews

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Q: Mr. Minister, we’d like a comment about the visit of Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Mr. Davutoglu, to Greece a few days ago. There were some comments made [by Mr. Davutoglu] that certain Greek media outlets deemed as provoking, such as the Minister’s statement on Kastelorizo island or the way Mr. Davutoglu behaved during his tour in Northern Greece’s northern Thrace region.I’d like to ask you whether you think that a new era in Greek-Turkish relations truly exists or if it’s a myth.

Ev. Venizelos: Greece is constructive and creative in its foreign policy but is not naïve. We believe in the need of a Greek-Turkish rapprochement, under a certain prerequisite: that Turkey believes in its path towards the West, meaning it has a diplomatic and military attitude that meets the rules and principles of western practices.

Tags: Interviews

Monday, 14 March 2011

Q: During his recent visit [to Greece] Mr. Davutoglu persisted, perhaps using fresh language, in the old Turkish claim that the International Convention on the Law of the Sea cannot apply to the Aegean Sea and that Kastelorizo island, although it is Greek, it does not have neither a Continental Shelf nor a full Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). What is your assessment?

Ev. Venizelos: For Greece, its strategy of rapprochement with Turkey is reflected on the strategic choice by the neighboring country [Turkey] to fully integrate into western institutions, with all the consequences in terms of diplomatic and, primarily, military behavior and practice. Greece wants to see applied, in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean, what is being applied in other NATO and EU regions. [Greece wants to see] common rules and common practices being upheld, as far as military aircraft and warship sails are concerned for example. To have common rules as far as the allocation of responsibility in search and rescue (SAR) is concerned, in the event of an air or maritime accident. To have common rules and practices as far as sea and under-sea explorations are concerned.

Tags: Interviews

Thursday, 03 March 2011

On the evacuation operation of Egyptian nationals from Tunisia

left-red-arrowYesterday, the Egyptian ambassador informed me and my colleague the Foreign Minister on a severe humanitarian issue: One and a half million Egyptian citizens live in Libya right now. These people are targeted by the Qaddafi forces because they believe they are behind the uprising. Some 400 to 500 thousand of Egyptians are desperately trying to flee Libya and around 100,000 of them have already crossed the border to Tunisia, gathering at the coast of the neighboring country hoping to be transported back to Egypt. So, Egypt is asking for our help. Egypt has already asked countries like France and Turkey to help so we will contribute with military and civilian boas if necessary in this kind of operation. I want you to consider the (huge) size of this operation.

Tags: Parliament

Wednesday, 02 March 2011


Mr. Chairman, thank you so much for your very warm presentation of my ministerial itinerary. Thank you also for your invitation. President of the Assembly, Mr. Chairman, dear parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen,

I’m really happy to welcome you here in Athens in my capacities as Minister for Defense and member of the Hellenic Parliament. As you may know, in the Greek parliamentary system a Minister can also be an MP and it is very common that members of the Government are also Members of the Parliament; this helps them to be stronger attached to their parliamentary responsibility and feel accountable to the electorate, under a constant control by the civil society.

Tags: Speeches

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

“Global Challenges: NATO, the UN and the EU in the New Strategic Reference Framework”

left-red-arrowMessrs. General Consuls, General, Ambassador and Mr. Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus I am glad to see all of you here. Ladies and Gentlemen, dear friends, it would be unoriginal to say that within such a fluid and insecure world it is very important to look for certain stable points of reference which allow for a basic and safe prognosis and a strategy that is a working hypothesis that must be put to test in the field, rather than a doctrine.

Tags: Speeches

January 24, 2011

Defence Minister Evangelos Venizelos delivered a speech at the Hellenic Parliament in a special session on foreign policy and national defence. Here follow from his speech:

On Greek Foreign Policy

left-red-arrowThere is a fundamental and uppermost prerequisite for practising foreign policy: Forging and respecting national unity and creating a solid internal front. I don’t just speak about consensus. I'm talking about a commitment of an historical nature. This means that we need to show to Greek society as a whole, a sense of shared responsibility and common fate. It also means that we should not invent and artificially exaggerate what are basically non-existent differences».

Tags: Parliament

Monday, 20 December 2010

Security and Stability in the 21st century

left-red-arrowAmbassadors, Mr. General Chief of Staff, Mr. Secretary General of the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ladies and gentlemen.

I would like to warmly thank Mrs. Afentouli and Mr. Georgiou for their opening remarks. I also congratulate Mr. Georgiou for his well-organized, persistent and systematic efforts over the years and I hope that the Association will celebrate its 20-year anniversary in 2011 in a befitting way.

Tags: Speeches

Monday, 13 December 2010

 

On the economic crisis:

The economic situation is particularly difficult. The country is in a financial vortex, not alone but along with many other European countries. The crisis is not just European and does not concern the euro zone exclusively. It concerns almost all currency zones.

It is, in reality, a political crisis, one that illustrates the weakness of the EU to function as an integrated political entity supporting –by using the necessary institutions and the necessary political initiatives- the great enterprise that is the Euro. It is a contradiction to have advanced financial institutions, a common currency, to have the ECB and not have a strong EU budget, no institutions to oversee the intra-Community commerce, no institutions for the replacement of developmental deficits -as is the case in other parts of the world with federal systems of government.

Tags: Speeches

Sunday, 28 November 2010

 

Preconditions to exit the crisis

left-red-arrowThese last few days, we are experiencing an upsurge of the international financial crisis. In fact, we stand now where we were two years ago on an international level. We are back in 2008 when this was just a banking crisis, when we had not realized at full extent that it would become a fiscal crisis, a crisis of government debt

From banking to fiscal crisis and back

In this last year, the crisis has indeed become fiscal on a global scale. Suddenly, the Irish tiger turned inwards revealing the frightening extent of the crisis in the world’s -and certainly in Europe’s- banking system. Because we're addicted to Greek macroeconomic and fiscal data, because we’re talking too much about the extent of our budget deficit, because we’re struggling hard to register even one tenth of a percent less in the 2010 deficit, as it will officially be announced by our partners from the European Commission and Eurostat, we’ve come to believe that we might be the only ones with such a high deficit in our budget.

Tags: Speeches