Tsipras says Mitsotakis is ‘hostage’ of former PM Samaras

In an op-ed published on news website News247, he called on the ruling New Democracy party (EPP) to come up with a national strategy regarding the ongoing exploratory talks with Turkey. [EPA-EFE/ALEXANDROS VLACHOS]

Alexis Tsipras, leader of the main opposition leftist Syriza party, has lashed out against conservative Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis accusing him of being a “hostage” of former right-wing PM Antonis Samaras resulting in catastrophic implications for the country’s foreign affairs.

In an op-ed published on news website News247, he called on the ruling New Democracy party (EPP) to come up with a national strategy regarding the ongoing exploratory talks with Turkey.

“Today it is more necessary than ever to draw up the national strategy […] both for dealing with Turkish aggression and for exploratory talks on the continental shelf/Exclusive Economic Zone with the aim of an honest agreement based on international law,” Tsipras wrote.

Tsipras added that just like in the case of North-Macedonia talks, Mitsotakis has been a hostage of former PM Samaras, urging him to denounce Samaras’s line publicly and show national unity when it comes to foreign affairs.

Samaras, who fiercely opposed the name-change deal between Athens and Skopje, has opposed the exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey, and argues that the exploratory talks with Turkey in practice cancel any possibility of EU sanctions against Ankara.

“Everyone can understand that the international community does not ‘punish’ a country when it is formally negotiating,” he told Kathimerini journal.

Asked about Samara’s stance on the issue, the government said that the former PM’s positions are well-known.

But Samaras’s next steps are unclear and he could well put the unity of the governing party to the test.

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