Defense minister ‘adding fuel to fire’ on Turkey, says ND


New Democracy opposition chief Kyriakos Mitsotakis accused Defense Minister Panos Kammenos of “adding fuel to the fire” in regards to tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Speaking on Real FM radio on Tuesday morning, a day after Kammenos said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has “gone completely crazy,” Mitsotakis accused the defense minister, who has made similarly provocative comments in the past of being “not just merely incompetent, but also dangerous.”

“He has no control over what he says and is needlessly adding fuel to the fire,” Mitsotakis said of the minister who also leads the junior party in Greece’s coalition government, Independent Greeks. “I am speaking of his overall behavior.”

“I think it is at best frivolous to believe that he can rally support by responding to Mr Erdogan in the manner that he would probably want,” Mitsotakis said, adding that the defense minister should “talk less and deal more with his job.”

Kammenos had made the comment to journalists outside Parliament on Monday in response to the continued incarceration in Turkey of two Greek soldiers who accidentally crossed the border in northeastern Greece in early March.

Speaking on Skai TV earlier on Tuesday, ND’s shadow defense minister Vassilis Kikilias called on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to answer for Kammenos’s behavior. “Ministers are not commentators. They are judged by their effectiveness and the decisions they make at crucial moments,” he said.