A stern warning from Greece to Turkey was made on Saturday (3 September) at the opening of an international trade fair in Salonika.
A stern warning from Greece to Turkey was made on Saturday (3 September) at the opening of an international trade fair in Salonika. At an inauguration ceremony for the forty second Thessalonika Trade Fair, the Greek Minister of Coordination Mr. Panayiotis Papaligouras said Turkey should think twice before embarking on a military adventure in the Aegean Sea.
SYNOPSIS: The Greek Prime Minister Mr. Karamanlis was due to open the trade fair but cancelled his trip after falling ill. More than 38 countries are taking part. Among them are the United States and the United Nations. With a captive influential audience, the Greek Government used the occasion to make a major policy speech on the Aegean and Cyprus situation. Greece and Turkey are currently locked in a bitter dispute in both areas.
Standing in for the Prime Minister, Coordination Minister Mr. Papaligouras told his international audience that Greece would like to restore ties of good neighbourliness and cooperation with Turkey. But it was obvious he said, that Greece would have to defend its national independence and dignity if provoked. He said that Turkey was misled by historically outdated ideologies and warned that if they provoked an armed conflict they should think first over who will suffer the deeper wounds. Mr. Papaligouras said Greece would spend (1.5 billion U.S.) dollars 843 million pounds sterling on defence this year, almost a quarter of the total national budget. He said the increase in military expenditure was a defensive measure. The Minister assured his audience that, referring to the political situation in Greece, there was a danger that democracy could be undermined by militants from both political extremes, but the government was resolved and capable of enforcing order and safeguarding free institutions.