Just days after a Turkish Coast Guard ship rammed the Hellenic Coast Guard ship “Gavdos”, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras visited the Greek Shipping Ministry, which has the Coast Guard under its purview, and congratulated the crew of the Greek, which with dextrous manoeuvres avoided a near sinking.

In an address that was directed at much towards Turkey as to Greece’s allies and partners, Tsipras made clear that Athens will not tolerate and challenges to its national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

“Greece is not a country that plays games. We are at the core of the European Union and a Nato member-state, with a strong regional role and international alliances. We are a country that is a pillar of stability and security in a more broadly destabilised region,” the PM stressed.

“In the last days, we saw incidents that violate international law, and I want to be perfectly clear, with the men and women before me who were on the “Gavdos”, the captain and the crew. The recent incident was the result of the absolutely irresponsible stance of the Turkish Coast Guard, which imperiled human lives,” in a message directed as much across the Aegean.

“Certainly, certain parties are annoyed by the upgraded role of Greece in the region. We call upon them to come to terms with this development…Let them know this well, that audacity and provocations are not only an irresponsible stance, but are also cowardly and dastardly,” he declared.

Tsipras was briefed on the situation currently around Imia at the Coast Guard Operations Centre, and met with officers from the select submarine commandoes teams, as well as with helicopter and aircraft units of the Hellenic Coast Guard.

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