Nikos Panagiotopoulos | His response about the defence industry and the “allegations” about the military leadership

Defence Redefined
Published on 15/01/2021 at 09:21

The parties of New Democracy, the Coalition of the Radical Left – Progressive Alliance (SYRIZA), the Movement of Change (KINAL) and the Greek Solution (Elliniki Lisi) voted, by majority, before the authority, the bill of the Ministry of National Defence for the acquisition of 18 Rafale fighter jets. The Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and MERA 25 voted against it, on different grounds.

Prior to the end of the meeting, the Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, stated that the Parliament majority “sends a clear message in all directions” today.

The Minister of National Defence urged the parties and the Parliament to monitor the right execution of the contracts and accepted the amendment of KINAL for a 6-month control of the course of the contract implementation by the competent parliamentary committee. It is, he said, “something I certainly agree with.”

Also read: Mitsotakis | “The Greek government will not discuss gray zones or the demilitarization of islands”

Regarding the concerns that were heard about the participation of our defence industry in these contracts, Mr. Panagiotopoulos stated that hopefully “our defence industry will soon be in a position to support, at least in the future, the work that will arise for the maintenance of these and other weapon systems. That, after all, is a goal for which we must all work towards – and we will certainly do so.”

The Defence Minister noted that the Rafale acquisitions constitute a “leap”, as they were conducted under a twofold crisis, that is, the pandemic and the growing Turkish provocation. As he said, “I think we did it in the best possible way”.

Finally, Mr. Panagiotopoulos rejected some of the allegations made against the military leadership, saying that “if the government had such an intention, it would have acted in this way once it took office. We have cooperated with the preceding military leadership for over six months and, I would say, under good terms. We decided that some changes had to be made, which were indeed carried out this time last year. So, such allegations should not be heard. This is how we will proceed in the future, as no such indications have been given by the current political leadership of the ministry.”

Also read: Panagiotopoulos | “40 modern fighter jets should be acquired for the Hellenic Air Force by 2025”






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