A day before the EU Summit, Athens, turns its attention to Rome, focusing on the dinner Mario Draghi has invited the Greek PM to on Wednesday night. Government sources describe the Italian prime minister’s table with his Greek counterpart as a one-on-one meeting that will help build closer relations.
Greek-Turkish relations on the table
Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Mario Draghi in their meeting are expected to refer to Turkey. Even if Athens does not want to give a Turkish-centered character to Mitsotakis’s visit to Rome, the chapter of Turkish aggression and the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean will open, as Kyriakos Mitsotakis is expected to inform Mario Draghi in detail, while he will raise an issue on Thursday at the Summit.
Athens is expected to remind Rome of the Greek-Italian agreement on the delimitation of maritime zones as a model for the implementation of international law, as well as international legitimacy and cooperation of coastal states in the region, in an attempt to contrast it with Turkish illegal actions.
The momentum created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine offers Greece the opportunity of using it to condemn Erdogan’s revisionist policy and threats against territorial integrity. This in no way means that Rome and Athens see eye-to-eye.
Personal opinions are one thing and international politics are another
Despite the fact that Mario Draghi seems to harbor little tolerance for Erdogan, calling him a “dictator” last year, this does not mean that he will sever ties with Ankara. It is indicative that in the shadow of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and given the Turkish refusal to say “yes” to NATO accession for Sweden and Finland, Draghi has announced a visit to Turkey for early July.
In addition to the Ukraine, the strengthening of Italy-Turkey relations will also be on the agenda. As each country pursues its own interests and agenda, the Italian prime minister has stated Rome’s intention to reopen the France-Turkey-Italy cooperation platform.
Prospects for strengthening Athens-Rome cooperation
Athens also hopes that cooperation with Rome has significant prospects for strengthening in many sectors, especially in energy. Mitsotakis and Draghi had recently reached an agreement to take the initiative on the “Energy Summit of the South”, the Rome Summit on energy held last March, which was also attended by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Portuguese Antonio Costa.
At that meeting, Draghi called for immediate intervention in support of households and businesses, stressing that Europe must show the unity and determination it has shown in its attack on Ukraine to protect economies from the effects of war that have resulted in peak energy prices. Athens and Rome also had a common line on the relaxation of fiscal rules, including the costs required for recovery after the pandemic, but also the need to increase defense spending at European level.
Libya also present
The issue of Libya, which also concerns Greece, remains a priority for Italy, with Mitsotakis and Draghi meeting in Libya in April 2021 and emphasizing the need for the country’s return to normalcy.
Το νέο κίνημα «δεν πληρώνω φόρους», οι δημοσκοπήσεις στην Περιφέρεια, η φωτιά στην ακτοπλοΐα και μια διαμάχη 34 ετών
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