Second amendment to US-Greece MDCA agreement ratified in Greek parliament
The Second Protocol of Amendment to the US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) was approved in Greek parliament on Thursday evening.
It was approved by 181 votes and rejected by 119. Of the 181 votes, 157 belonged to ruling New Democracy, 22 to PASOK-KINAL and 2 to independent MPs Konstantinos Bogdanos and Katerina Adamou.
PM Mitsotakis: The specific agreement is a vote of confidence in Greece
"The American writer Mark Twain said that patriotism is to support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday, opening his speech to the Greek parliament during the debate on the bill "Ratification of the second revision protocol of the US-Greek Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement" that is to conclude on Thursday afternoon.
"The text we are called to ratify is one of the many renewals of our defensive alignment with the transatlantic power," Mitsotakis said, adding that the USA is expanding its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and also demonstrating an interest in energy. "Our country is made the key partner and interlocutor with USA in the broader region," he noted.
"The specific agreement ceases to be a bilateral protocol and becomes a vote of confidence in Greece as an unshakeable factor for stability, as a prudent European and NATO partner that guarantees international legality in the face of any crises stirred by our neighbours. Of a crucial hub on the energy map".
This was an agreement, he noted, that upgraded Greece's significance and affected not just defence and diplomacy but primarily the economy and the energy sector.
"No country can be alone in an international environment which is constantly changing," the premier underlined, adding that this becomes imperative when it has to do with countries that have unstable neighbours.
"So-called neutrality turns into a dangerous solitude. The alleged independent policy leads to dependence on situations created by others. We stand with the alliance of the West, we come from the Enlightenment and we walk with Democracy," Mitsotakis said.
"That's how our clear stance in support of Ukraine is interpreted," he explained, adding that international law is violated alongside the violation of Ukraine's borders. "In our foreign policy, positions of principle are aligned with our national interests. Our presence in alliances will be strong. We are friends that can be counted on in order to have, if necessary, support that can be counted upon," he added.
Leftist opposition refuses to back US defence deal
Leftist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras has said his SYRIZA party will not support a defence deal between Greece and the United States, while accusing the conservative government of making sweeping concessions to Washington without gaining anything in return.
Speaking in Parliament Thursday ahead of a vote on the ratification of the Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA), Tsipras accused the New Democracy administration of green-lighting the utilization of Greek military facilities by American forces for an indefinite period of time and of conceding the northern port of Alexandroupoli to the US amid the war in Ukraine without receiving any meaningful benefits in return.
Tsipras said that Greece is being reduced to a “US satellite” at a time when Washington appears ready to reward Turkey with new weapons and military equipment.
The SYRIZA chief was referring to reports that the Biden administration has asked congressional leaders to approve the sale of advanced weapons and other equipment for Turkey’s fleet of F-16 jet fighters.
“Where is your national pride?,” Tsipras told New Democracy lawmakers, adding that his party will seek to renegotiate the MDCA if it becomes government.
“We are sending weapons to Ukraine on the recommendation of the US, while the US is sending new F-16s to fly over the Greek islands,” he said.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis earlier defended the deal in Parliament describing it as “a vote of confidence in Greece as an unshakeable element of stability, as a prudent European and NATO partner that guarantees international legality in the face of any crises stirred by our neighbors.”
Source: AMNA,kathimerini, avgi.