Government Vice-President and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday accused small political groups that do not desire cooperation between the New Democracy and PASOK parties of seeking to involve foreign policy in their political games, stressing that this was inconceivable.
In a document tabled in Parliament, Venizelos said these same groups were reproducing a “bizarre theory” that there was a divergence of views between the Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and himself.
The document was submitted in response to a question raised by independent MP Nikitas Kaklamanis, following the note verbale sent to the Cyprus’ foreign ministry by Athens.
Kaklamanis had complained that the leadership of the foreign ministry in Athens was following a “new diplomatic ethos” and he spoke of “mistakes” on issues that could create problems in international relations and for national security. Among the questions raised by Kaklamanis was whether Venizelos had “acted in concert with his superior” or of his own free will.
“The question submitted by the deputy feeds the propagation of a bizarre theory about a divergence of views between the prime minister and government vice-president and foreign minister on these issues. This is then reproduced in the media by some small groups, which are not at all content with ND-PASOK cooperation and express their preference for cooperation between ND and various versions of the far right. It is inconceivable that some people also involve the country’s foreign policy in this political game,” Venizelos replied to Kaklamanis.
“The deputy considers that there was a supposed crisis in Greek-Cyprus’ relations. This is completely unsubstantiated and false. It is a view cultivated by groups who, unfortunately, seek to create problems in relations between the two countries because they actually disagree with the line adopted by the President of the Cyprus Republic and with the support and the handling of the Greek government,” Venizelos added.
The foreign minister said that the reality was quite the opposite and that Cypriot MEPs had attempted to disrupt harmonious and brotherly relations between Greece and Cyprus when, during the presentation of the report of the Greek Presidency before the European Parliament plenary, they had criticised Greece’s reaction to Turkey’s written positions submitted after the EU-Turkey Association Council.
In his document, Venizelos also pointed out that the specific MEP had been a rival to Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades in the internal Democratic Rally party’s elections to select a presidential candidate.
Venizelos added that this ought to be clarified in the European Parliament. “They should have made clear that this was the individual opinion of the MEP, completely opposite to the position of the Cyprus Republic and its government. That is what the Greek foreign ministry officially asked the Cyprus foreign ministry to do, following a telephone call between the two ministers who are in constant, almost daily, contact. The same good relation also exists between the prime minister and the president of the Cyprus Republic,” he said.