Varvitsiotis: Greece will be prepared in the event of a no-deal Brexit
The Greek government will make preparations to cope with a disorderly Brexit and any negative repercussions this may have, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said on Wednesday, in a statement to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA).
Varvitsiotis, who is responsible for European issues, made the statement prior to a special meeting on Brexit convened at the foreign ministry, with the relevant staff of the other ministries involved.
"Boris Johnson's election as prime minister of the United Kingdom creates the conditions for disorderly Brexit," Varvitsiotis said, adding that the prospect of the UK crashing out of the European Union without a deal "means that we must work to prepare for all aspects of this exit."
Such preparations must cover Greece's relations with the UK on an economic and educational level, as well as the relations of Greek citizens residing in the UK with authorities in that country, or those of UK nationals living in Greece with authorities here, tax issues and even ensuring that Greek pharmacies had sufficient stocks of medicines imported from the UK, he noted.
"For us, the UK's departure is an unpleasant development that weakens the EU and we will fight on a political level to ensure that this happens in a way that is smooth and in the best interests of both sides," he added, noting that Greece must be prepared for the possibility of a no-deal departure for the UK on October 31, so that the impact on Greece's economy and on bilateral relations between the two sides is minimised as far as possible.
Varvitsiotis said there was a "list of hundreds of pending issues that we must look at, because if they are not covered by an EU-UK agreement...all these agreements must be drawn up on a bilateral level. For this reason we must be prepared so that on October 31 - which is the final date for the negotiations - Greece is not left at a loose end."
He concluded by pointing to the longstanding bilateral ties between the two countries, noting that all actions will respect both the "relations we have but also the relations that we will build from here on."
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