Prime Minister Kyriakos Mistotakis called for the strengthening of Greece’s defense industry in order to boost the “operational readiness” of the country’s armed forces during a visit on Wednesday to the Defense Ministry.
Mitsotakis, who was briefed by Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, his deputy Alkiviadis Stefanis and Greece’s military leadership, said it is among his government’s priorities to strengthen the country’s defensive capabilities within the framework of the European Union and NATO, and to ensure that promotions within the ranks of the armed forces are based on merit, through an objective evaluation system.
He also noted that morale within the army remained strong.
“Despite the major problems and effects of a decade-long crisis, which had economic repercussions on the budgets for the armed forces, the one thing that never waned was the morale of the military,” he said.
“I want to take the opportunity to express my thanks and my pride in all the women and men of the armed forces because they are its soul,” Mitsotakis added.
The chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Christos Christodoulou, presented Mitsotakis with a pilot’s uniform with air force insignia and his name, and invited the premier to fly with him in an F-16 fighter jet over Kastellorizo, in the southeastern Aegean, which Mitsotakis accepted.
Earlier in the day, Panagiotopoulos told the Economist Conference in Athens that he is “worried” by Turkey’s stance, but reassured that the government is not scared as it will see to boosting the military’s defensive prowess.