The agreement risks deploying Greek forces to dangerous combat zones, resulting in an arms race.
According to local media, Greece’s biggest opposition party has denounced a key defence agreement recently inked with France, saying it could not be accepted in its current form.
According to the news portal Left.gr, SYRIZA’s parliamentary group and political committee met on Monday evening in the capital Athens to debate the party’s position on the September 28 agreement, as well as other topics.
The agreement was judged unacceptable by the party unless it was altered in numerous ways, according to former Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who addressed the meeting.
Tsipras wanted a clear assurance from the administration that it would not risk sending Greek military to any war-torn place outside of Greek or French territory under the terms of the agreement.
He claimed that the current Nea Dimokratia (ND) government had departed from traditional Greek foreign policy, reviving an arms race, referring to Athens’ ongoing disagreements with Turkey.
Tsipras also emphasised that purchasing the additional Rafale fighters and three frigates from France was costly and would place an additional load on Greek taxpayers.
He also claimed that a recent deal with Israel for the development and management of a pilot-training centre in Kalatama, Greece’s southern province, was three times over budget and cost €1.8 billion.
Tsipras criticised the deployment of Greek Patriot air defence systems and 100 troops to Saudi Arabia, saying the decision put Greece in danger of becoming involved in a hazardous Middle Eastern conflict.
In a similar incident, the party’s spokesman Nassos Iliopoulos slammed the government’s agreement with France as well as other foreign policy decisions.