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Statement of the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) ahead of his meeting with representatives of the Ministries co-competent for
Statement of the Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) ahead of his meeting with representatives of the Ministries co-competent for Brexit (MFA, 24 July 2019)M. VARVITSIOTIS: Boris Johnson’s election to the office of Prime Minister of the United Kingdom creates the conditions for a disorderly Brexit. This means a no-deal exit from the EU, and it means that we must work to prepare for all the aspects of this exit. This concerns our relations in the sectors of economy and education, the status of Greek citizens residing in the UK and the status of British citizens residing in Greece, tax issues, adequate supplies in our pharmacies of medicines from the United Kingdom, and a number of other issues, so that we can minimise any negative repercussions from a disorderly exit.
What I want to say is that, for us, the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU is an unwelcome development that weakens the EU, and that we will strive on a political level for this to happen as smoothly as possible and in a way that is as reasonable as possible for both parties. But, whatever the case, by 31 October the Greek government needs to be ready – and will be ready – for the possibility of a disorderly exit of the United Kingdom, so that we can minimise the impact on the Greek economy and the relations between the two countries.
REPORTER: Today you are convening a meeting of the co-competent Ministries. Can you say a few words about that?
M. VARVITSIOTIS: Today’s meeting is aimed at preparing all of the agencies of the Greek public sector for a disorderly Brexit. There is a list of hundreds of issues we need to look at in the case of a disorderly Brexit, and we will take the necessary legislative initiatives to deal with them in good time. This is why we have to be prepared, so that on 31 October, which is the deadline for the negotiations, Greece won’t be caught unprepared.