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The Greek army is ready to guarantee the internal security of the country

03 July 2015 / 11:07:08  GRReporter
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The statement by Greek Minister of Defence and Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos that "the army is guaranteeing the internal security of the country" provoked strong reactions among the pro-European opposition.

He had made his statement in the presence of the Greek Prime Minister, during his visit to the ministry. The fact that Alexis Tsipras did not respond in any way to what he heard made the opposition angry as did his visit to the ministry a day after the rumours had appeared that Panos Kammenos had threatened to leave the ruling coalition.

The precise statement of the Minister of Defence was, "The military forces are guaranteeing the stability in the country in the worst moments for our homeland. A democratic army and democratic forces continue to protect with their mission Greece's image inside the country and abroad."

His words obviously totally contradict the Constitution of Greece, which explicitly states that guaranteeing the internal order in the country is the responsibility of the police, not of the army.
PASOK urged Tsipras to dismiss Kammenos. In their communication, the socialists emphasize, "If Mr. Kammenos does not immediately resign after today's verbal slip or if you do not dismiss him, this will actually mean that you accept the concepts and plans for instability against the democratic institutions."

Former PASOK leader Evangelos Venizelos directly accused Kammenos of imposing "dangerous right-wing beliefs in terms of the institutions and the army. This is Kammenos' ideological predominance over the 'first leftist government'!"

The person in charge of the policy in the defence sector of New Democracy Konstantinos Tasoulas stressed that "in democratic countries the army guarantees border security from external threats and the police guarantee security inside the country. What we have heard is an insult to the army, pronounced by the Minister of Defence himself at that."

He noted, "Kammenos' political deal with SYRIZA has turned him into a supporter of the Soviet-type regimes in which the army actually watches over internal security. Since the Prime Minister has not responded, apparently he agrees with that! This statement is a brutal public acknowledgment of 'undemocracy'."

The Potami party directly asked the Minister of Defence, "Who is the internal enemy, Mr. Kammenos'?", adding, "You know the situation in which the army interfere in internal matters and what it is called."

After the avalanche of reactions, Kammenos' party Independent Greeks issued a message, accusing the opposition of deliberately distorting the words of their leader. "Probably the followers of Goebbels who support the memoranda find it difficult to understand that a necessary prerequisite for the internal security of the country is the protection of its territorial sovereignty and the adequate protection of its borders. Independent Greeks, led by Panos Kammenos, have complete confidence in the security forces that see to the compliance with the legal order."

Meanwhile, 65 senior retired military officers, including several former chief commanders of the Greek army, have declared in an open letter their support for the positive vote in the upcoming referendum.

Tags: Politics Defence Minister Panos KammenosAlexis TsiprasArmyInternal security
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