The Greek parliament ratified the Greece-France strategic defense agreement, on Thursday evening, with 191 votes in favor and 109 against.
Lawmakers of the governing party New Democracy and opposition parties Movement for Change (KINAL) and Greek Solution voted in favor of the agreement.
In his speech, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said:
“It is an agreement that upgrades the cooperation of our two countries in the fields of defense, security and foreign policy. it is clearly stipulated that there will be military assistance in the event of a third party attacking one of the two states. The price of frigates does not exceed our budget, as we took advantage of the situation to negotiate hard. Their repayment extends in time, but also the delivery time is very important as the agreement with Greece finally preceded the orders of the French Navy. There is no defense without a strong economy to finance it, but also there is no economy without strong defense and foreign policy to support it.”
The main opposition party, SYRIZA, criticized the cost of the agreement. Alexis Tsipras said: “Mr. Mitsotakis buys frigates as if they were ties” and asked: “How much will the bill eventually be?” He also mentioned that according to the agreement, Greek armed forces will have to support French military missions, in Africa for example.
The leader of Movement for Change, Fofi Genimata, said the agreement will strengthen the Greek Navy and asked for a new national defense policy agreed by all political parties.
The Greece- France defense agreement includes the purchase of three French Βelharra frigates worth about 3 billion euros, on top of the 24 Rafale fighter jets Athens bought earlier this year.