President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos called for vigilance in the defence
of social justice and solidarity so that Europe will never again become a “dark continent” as a result of the forces of nazism and fascism threatening parliamentary democracy, in a speech at Kasteli, Pediada where he was made an honorary citizen on Sunday.
Nazi and fascist formations, as well the other populist forces that also threaten parliamentary democracy, that are on the rise in various European Union member-states are a cause for concern, Pavlopoulos said, calling for vigilance to deal with them effectively and promptly.
The fact that their momentum appeared somewhat slowed in the recent European elections was positive, he added, but the main goal was to eradicate the causes that led to the resurgence of these ‘remnants’ that harked back to the nightmares of World War II.
This could be achieved by ensuring social justice and solidarity, in order to mend the tears in the social fabric that lead people to misery, he said.
The president also referred to Greece’s role in the region, noting that Greece was a peace-loving country that believed in friendship and good neighbour relations, on the condition of complete respect for international law and the European acquis – which, among other things, also defined the territory and borders of Greece, and by extension the territory and borders of the EU.
This included the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea that set out each country’s Exclusive Economic Zone and was binding for all, even countries that had not yet signed the convention, such as Turkey.
“Yes, we are those that want to live in peace with all our neighbours. They, however, must respect international and European law, respect the borders, territory and EEZ of Greece, which are the borders, territory and EEZ of the EU. On this there can be no retreat and no concession,” Pavlopoulos said, addressing a message to Turkey.
Greece was determined to defend this position and international and European legality, he noted, and was no longer alone since the EU and the international community had now understood what a bad and dangerous precedent any deviation in this direction would create, especially as regards the borders of the EEZ: “We now have their support, as well as the support of NATO and the United States. This must be clear to our neighbour Turkey.”