PM Papandreou briefs Parliament on Libya
23. March 2011. | 04:39 04:40
Prime Minister George Papandreou, briefing Parliament on Tuesday on the government's stance in relation to the events in Libya, stressed that "Greece will not become the evasive neutral in the developments in the region. This stance would not help national interests."
Prime Minister George Papandreou, briefing Parliament on Tuesday on the government's stance in relation in to the events in Libya, stressed that "Greece will not become the evasive neutral in the developments in the region. This stance would not help national interests."
Papandreou justified the options of the international community on Libya so that, as he said, the mass slaughter of civilians and a consequent mass immigration wave will be averted, as well as for democratic developments in the wider region to be served.
He stressed that Greece's presence on the side of the countries in favour of armed pressure on the Gaddafi regime, with the approval of the UN Security Council, as well as the Arab League and the African Union, is in agreement with the steadfast positions of its foreign policy for respect for international law and serves national interests.
"As a country, we have an interest to contribute to the strengthening of our international credibility without the logic of double standards," Papandreou said, noting that when Greece calls for the implementation of the UN Security Council's resolutions on Cyprus and FYROM, it cannot oppose today's.
The military actions against Libya, however, must also be accompanied by an overall political approach, that will aim at the promotion of national understanding in this country and at respect for legality.
"Many may be thinking only of today. We as a friend of the Libyan people must also think of the day after. They must know that they have a friend, with principles, unselfish, prepared to help the Libyan people in the rebuilding of their country. Greece will not become the evasive neutral in the developments. Greece's absence would not help our national interests. We shall be present with the force of principles, with respect for our commitments and for the need for the region's democratic revival," Papandreou underlined.
"Those friends or not, who had forgotten our country's considerable geostrategic role are recognising it and discovering it again today. This element must be taken into consideration seriously and colour the EU's decisions that concern Greece as well. Greece is and shall be a real pole of principles, stability and prosperity in the region," he added.
Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Secretary General Aleka Papariga, speaking in Parliament on Tuesday during a discussion on developments in Libya, said "you are absolutely dangerous both you (ruling Pasok) and (main opposition) New Democracy, as governments that are absolutely determined to act in the framework of Nato and of international law. You offered Greece. From this aspect you are dangerous. The time will come when the Greek people will pay dearly for your participation in these wars. We shall struggle so that you shall pay dearly."
Papariga pondered "why is the war taking place in Libya. Now you discovered the dictatorship of Gaddafi, of your friend. And when was it determined that Gaddafi is an antidemocrat," adding that "as far as we are concerned he was never a friend, nor did we ever have relations. But we must clarify that popular uprisings took place in Egypt and Tunisia since 2007 and 2008 and local uprisings. In Libya it did not take place."
The KKE leader further said "what the EU and the U.S. and the Greek government do not like that in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Libya despite the privatisations the state sector is still extensive" and that "you want to abolish this state capitalism for the benefit of the absolute deregulation of the market."
Speaking during the same discussion, Popular Orthodox Rally (Laos) party leader George Karatzaferis termed Greece's participation in the armed intervention in Libya a "great mistake", stressing that there are no benefits for Greece, "but on the contrary dangers are lurking".
"The leaders of the countries with half of the world's population, China, Russia, India, Brazil are against. Why are we going with the Americans. Greek weapons have never killed an Arab. Why now. Were there bombing operations until Sunday morning by the frigate Themistoklis," Karatzaferis asked, also disputing the prime minister's allegations that the intervention in Libya respects international legality.
Lastly, Radical Left Coalition (Syriza) Parliamentary Group president Alexis Tsipras expressed his categorical opposition to both the military intervention in Libya, "the new alliance of the willing", as he said, and to Greece's involvement in the war.
Tsipras spoke of an "irresponsible option of the government" and termed as "hypocritical" the interest of the west in democracy in Libya, stressing that "their aim is to set foot in the region, so as to control the developments that the spontaneous popular uprisings might trigger."