Papandreou: Putin success would encourage other autocrats

Papandreou: Putin success would encourage other autocrats

Back from a recent health scare, former Prime Minister George Papandreou said the EU should seek energy and defense autonomy.

Papandreou made his first public appearance Saturday after having a pacemaker installed Thursday.

Speaking via an online link at the 10th Regional Growth Conference (RGC 2022) in Patras, Western Greece, Papandreou thanked well wishers and said he will continue with his active lifestyle.

“I am back after two days. I will continue the new lifestyle with constant exercise. And people should exercise as much as they can,” he told his interlocutor, Tom Ellis, Editor in Chief of Kathimerini English Edition.

Papandreou, who turns 70 next Thursday, was to have taken part in the conference live on Thursday, the day he had to have the pacemaker installed.

Papandreou, who has also been President of the Socialist International since 2006, commented on developments in Ukraine and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent aggressive comments toward Greece.

If Putin succeeds in using violence to further his aims, he will empower fellow autocrats to behave similarly.

The EU should seek greater autonomy, both on energy and in defense, Papandreou said. “If Europe does not have its defense autonomy, it will not have security,” he said.

On Erdogan, Papandreou commented that if his behavior is fueled by his desire for electoral survival, he will be unpredictable.


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