Alternate Minister of Foreign Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ speech at the session of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs-main points (Athens, 23.11.2022)


“Yesterday in Cairo we signed a very important agreement on the controlled migration of agricultural workers from Egypt, a country with which we have shared the Mediterranean for thousands of years and with which we have developed a strategic relationship and cooperation at all levels”, underscored Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis addressing today the Parliamentary Standing Committee on National Defence and Foreign Affairs during the debate on the draft law of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on “Organization and operation of the ETIAS National Unit and other provisions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.

Mr. Varvitsiotis stated that the agreement he signed yesterday with his Egyptian counterpart Ihab Nasr for the reception of 5,000 Egyptian agricultural workers constitutes an organized response to the major problem of the shortage of labourers in the Greek periphery and demonstrates to Europe as a whole how to address the shortage of labourers without succumbing to the suffocating pressures of illegal migration, which causes human tragedies. “The government of New Democracy is not dogmatically opposed to all sorts of migration”, he continued, “but it is dogmatically opposed to illegal migration and in favour of legal migration”.

The Alternate Minister further noted that the agreement signed yesterday in Egypt by the Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, to define the search and rescue regions, which now coincide with the two countries’ FIRs, effectively nullifies the illegal Turkish-Libyan “memorandum”. At the same time, he emphasized that Greek foreign policy has succeeded in convincing our neighbours of the possibilities offered by International Law and the Law of the Sea for the settlement of all pending issues in the region.

Lastly, speaking about the establishment of a national unit for the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Varvitsiotis underscored that in this way we are opening up Europe by making entry procedures easier for nationals of countries that do not require a visa, while at the same time we are digitally transforming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.