Greek government vice-president Theodoros Pangalos sternly warned Turkey on Friday that Greece will back the Republic of Cyprus and that any attack or military action against it will be considered an attack or military action against Greece itself, while he also called for an informal meeting of all the political parties to discuss the developments in Thrace and how they can be dealt with.
"Cyprus is an independent member country of the UN and has the right to independently determine its interests alone or in cooperation with other countries," Pangalos stressed, referring to Turkish threats over explorations in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Responding in parliament to a current question tabled by Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) leader George Karatzaferis, who spoke of "continuing Turkish provocations and dangerous attempts to penetrate Thrace through its consulate there and called on the government to take steps to avoid the consolidation of a policy that could give rise to "irreparable harm" to Greece, Pangalos said it was a "big mistake" that the establishment of the (Turkish) consulate was allowed in Komotini, and agreed with Karatzaferis that Ankara was using the consulate for propagandistic purposes.
Karatzaferis warned about the role played by the Turkish consulate in Komotini, charging escalating attempts "turkify" Thrace. "A huge problem exists, and the issue is whether we will admit it or sweep it under the carpet," he said.
He charged that the consulate was "doing as it pleases", and stressed that the government must make it realise that it must strictly restrict itself to its duties and obligations.
"We are speaking of penetration, of funding of newspapers that exercise propaganda against Greece, and we must not allow this to be consolidated as a policy," the LAOS leader continued, and demanded that, provided the "Turkish consulate exercises activities other than those set out by the diplomatic code', the government take actions "that have been taken by other serious countries when they were the recipients of similar actions in their territory".
Karatzaferis further called on the Greek prime minister to not delay the commencement of exploration drills, noting that Turkey was provoking because "it is in a tough spot because it has the EU opposite it", but "if it attacks this will bring its dream of European membership 30 years back".
Pangalos agreed that a Turkish consulate should have been opened in Komotini, noting the existence of the consulate in Thessaloniki.
He said it is a self-evident and firm position of Greece that any attack or military action against Cyprus is an attack or military action against Greece, adding that this was a fundamental principal of Greece's foreign policy and cannot change.
He said the Turkish government was doing very badly by intervening with arguments of intimidation, which "benefit Greece's credibility, given that our partners used to call us excessive", adding that the government is closely monitoring the matter.