Mitsotakis to Turkey: If we had 85% inflation in Greece, I’d be trying to change the subject too

Mitsotakis to Turkey: If we had 85% inflation in Greece, I’d be trying to change the subject too
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In response to Turkey’s latest accusations against Greece over territorial claims, Greek PM said he will not enter a “futile” verbal exchange

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis blasted Turkey of trying to divert attention away from the country’s economic hardship via accusations against neighboring Greece.

“If we had inflation running at 85 percent in Greece, I would also be trying to change the subject,” Mitsotakis said in Berlin on Thursday, Kathimerini newspaper reported.

Facing presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for June next year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s and his ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) approval ratings are declining due to the economic woes in the country, according to the latest polls. 

Turkey is suffering economic problems in the recent years where Turkish Lira lost around 44 percent of its value in 2021, and a quarter more in the first half of this year. Turkey’s annual inflation rate accelerated to 85.5 percent in October, extending to a new 24-year high, the official data published by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) on Thursday showed. 

Asked his reaction to the recent statements from Ankara, Mitsotakis said “If I responded to the statements of Turkish officials every time they provoked Greece, I don’t think I’d be doing anything else.”

Turkey and Greece, both NATO allies, have long been at odds over a string of issues, including territorial claims over the Mediterranean and the Aegean. The tensions between Ankara and Athens have build up lately over the status of the Aegean islands, where Turkey blames Greece for “illegally” militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties. At a latest occasion on Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece of being “dishonest” and “insincere” over its differences with Turkey, adding that Athens is “standing in the way of justice.”

“As I have said before, we will not enter a futile verbal exchange. Greece’s positions are crystal clear. They have been presented many times and I have nothing more to add to that,” Mitsotakis said.