Greece will defend its principles “in any way it can… and will not cede an inch of territory,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said from the southeastern Aegean island of Kastellorizo on Tuesday in an apparent dig at recent provocations from Turkey.
“Our neighbors do not always behave in a manner befitting good neighbors,” Tsipras said at the inauguration of two desalination units on the island.
“I want to send a message of cooperation and peaceful coexistence, but also of determination,” the prime minister added. “Greece is not threatening anyone but is not afraid of anyone either. Greece can defend its sovereign rights, its borders are determined by international agreements and we will not cede an inch of territory.”
Visiting the island just a few days before the eight-year anniversary since former prime minister George Papandreou announced Greece’s first bailout by international creditors while on a visit to Kastellorizo, Tsipras used the occasion to reiterate his confidence that the country will make a “clean exit” from the bailout in August.
“We are coming to the end of this difficult period nearly eight years after the people were given, from this place, the bad news about the memorandums,” Tsipras said. “We are in the final stretch for a clean exit from supervision and from the asphyxiating austerity that has taken such a toll.”