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20 July, 2024
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Mitsotakis unveils stance on same-sex marriage

Prime Minister addresses same-sex union issue

By Stavros Papantoniou

He opened his cards on the issue of same-sex marriage, which has caused a lot of discussion, yesterday the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis with an interview on ERT. Mr. Mitsotakis, after explaining in detail what the bill includes, was asked about the reactions within his party, revealing that he will not raise the issue of discipline for an issue that concerns the "conscience of each one". He stressed, however, that "both I and those who believe in this bill, we must convince our MPs and possibly persuade some who may have a negative attitude".

However, since some will not change their minds, the Prime Minister in his own way called on the MPs who have a different opinion to abstain and not to vote against it, something that will help the government to pass the bill, as the majority will be calculated on the present MPs. "There are many parliamentary options," said Mr. Mitsotakis, adding that "abstention is a decent stance that someone can express their disagreement, that is, not to vote in favor, without creating a problem for the government majority". His position on the ministers, however, was quite vague, as he said that "when someone is a minister there is a greater commitment to a collective decision taken by the cabinet", but he added that the ministers "with their parliamentary status come to this vote", leaving some "windows".

"Abstention is a decent stance that someone can express their disagreement without creating a problem for the government majority," he said for the MPs of ND.

The timetable
As for the time when the bill will be tabled, Mr. Mitsotakis stressed that "from the moment I open the discussion, obviously I do not do it to postpone the issue to the calendars", emphasizing, not a few times, that he does not want the specific bill to divide. The Prime Minister at the beginning of his interview spoke in detail and for the bill, clarifying its content. After clarifying that it is an issue that concerns "some of our fellow citizens very much", he focused on three things:

• First, it legislates equality in marriage by eliminating any discrimination regarding sexual orientation. Mr. Mitsotakis stressed that he does not bring anything revolutionary, but something that applies in 20 countries, 15 of which are in the EU, clarifying that "we are talking about civil marriage, we are not talking about church, rice, or anything like that". At that point the discussion went to the Church, with the Prime Minister saying that "I respect those who have a different opinion and the opinion of the Church", which, however, does not legislate.

• Second, Mr. Mitsotakis said that the bill focuses on children and their rights, as he stressed that today there are children who live in families with same-sex parents and if one of the two dies, then the child will have to go to an institution.

• Third, Mr. Mitsotakis referred to the differences that his proposal has from that of SYRIZA, stressing that the bill that he will bring does not provide for any differentiation on the issue of assisted reproduction and surrogate motherhood, which will not be allowed, while as he said he does not provide for the terms "parent 1" and "parent 2".

Answer to PASOK

Mr. Mitsotakis also made political references. Commenting on the statement of Nikos Androulakis, who said that "PASOK will not tie the government's shoes" on this issue, Mr. Mitsotakis noted that he was impressed by this placement. "Instead of seeing the essence of the issue, Mr. Androulakis instrumentalizes in his own way an issue that is a matter of rights". At the same time he said that the major reforms in family law were made by the Center-Left and usually the Center-Right was behind the developments. "I still remember, in 1982, when the great revolution in family law came, and ND voted against provisions that now seem obvious to us: the decriminalization of adultery, the criminalization of domestic violence, the possibility for women to keep their surname. You see, then, that societies are moving forward, "he concluded.

Denial of scenarios about Europe and ... Kasselakis
Mr. Mitsotakis categorically denied in yesterday's interview on ERT the scenarios about his transition to a European post in the next period. "The prime minister is not a step for a European office. It is the most important job that I never imagined I could do. And my job is to represent Greece in Europe and not Europe in Greece, "he said characteristically, leaving a point:" Maybe some, not being able to deal with me politically, think of some exit through promotion, upwards. "Closing the issue, he stressed that" the Greek people trusted me to govern, to govern the country for the next four years "and" there is no greater honor for me than to be prime minister of the country ".

Mr. Mitsotakis commented very laconically and very strictly on the scenarios that saw the light of publicity about his proposal in 2019 to Mr. Stefanos Kasselaki to enter his government. Asked if there was any contact, he replied "you must be joking, of course", closing the issue with the apostrophe "I can not say anything more".

The Hague
From there on, the Prime Minister opened the whole range of issues, talking about the Greek-Turkish, the accuracy, the issue of security and the imminent trip to the USA. "We are not close to going to The Hague, but we are not as far away as a year ago," he said characteristically, stressing that "we have achieved normalization in our relations", as "we managed to sign an agreement for travel of Turkish citizens to 10 islands without a visa ", while" we have seen a significant reduction in flows to migration ".

In this context, he expressed optimism that "we will gradually be able to enter the core of our difference, the delimitation of the EEZ and the continental shelf", without illusions that "the issue will be resolved from one moment to the next".

Multinational companies
For the issue of accuracy, he stressed that in December more than 700 million were disbursed. "to strengthen the weakest households", while he focused on the issue of multinational companies saying that it is "unjustified for multinationals to sell more expensive in Greece than in other countries". In this context, he stressed that "I believe in the market, but I know that the super-profit is in the mind of some". For the issue of security and the recent changes he said that "no change of persons will solve a complex problem", announcing very soon "substantial changes in the operation of the Police" and adding that "every change of person is a sign that we did not do well and we did not hide it".

The trip to the USA

Finally, regarding the Greek-American relations, he said that the Greek government has submitted a documented request for the acquisition of F-35 and is relatively mature "to be implemented, to proceed with a significant purchase to strengthen the Armed Forces", while he announced that the next period he will be in the USA for a large investment forum in New York, but also in Chicago "for a presence in the diaspora", reminding that in a short time the bill for the postal vote will be voted.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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