PM Mitsotakis to Council for Int'l Relations: Looking ahead to a promising decade for Greece

PM Mitsotakis to Council for Int'l Relations: Looking ahead to a promising decade for Greece

The bicentennial from the start of the Greek War for Independence (1821) is "an opportunity for historical reflection," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told an academic panel on Friday.

In a key address to the Council for International Relations-Greece, the premier said he envisioned Greece in the next 100 years as a country that combines hard power with economic power, along with the opportunity to practice soft power, or be influential in non-traditional ways, through attracting foreign investments. As an example of politics that seek to influence rather than to coerce he referred to Greece's rise in credibility globally and its upgraded image, as a result "of the way we handled the pandemic."

Greece, he said, showed "it could handle the crisis much better than richer and more organized countries. This has a multiplier effect and can attract investments."

In terms of the difficult relations with Turkey, Greece expanded its alliances and boosted the country's deterrence factor, the prime minister said, while it made clear that its differences with Turkey are of concern to Europe, something that was "not a self-evident factor."

Mitsotakis referred to the Greek diaspora as "a significant pillar of soft power," and stressed that Greeks abroad should "participate actively in events in Greece." Citing the example of the draft bill on higher education voted on Thursday that was met with sharp criticism and strong protests domestically, he noted that those Greeks "who have experience living abroad are to a large extent supportive of reforms."

This will be a very good decade for Greece, the premier asserted, "and we will leave the quagmire of the previous decade."

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