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MoD Kammenos says “Greece and France discuss construction of frigates”

Amid great confusion over the alleged leasing of two French FREMM frigates, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos organized a press conference to clarify the issue. Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and French President, Emmanuel Macron, have discussed the possible construction of frigates in Greece, Kammenos said on Wednesday morning.

The Defense Minister said that Tsipras and Macron discussed the possibility to use part of the profits of the Greek bonds held by European central banks, French included, in order to finance the construction of frigates. the amount is 8billion euros. Macron seemed positive to this prospect, Kammenos added.

“The frigates acquisition program is progressing, but we are still discussing the basic parameters,” Kammenos said.

“There is no leasing agreement but discussion for frigates construction,” the Defense Minister stressed, while the Alternate Defense Minister, Fotis Kouvelis, who “revealed” the alleged leasing over the weekend was sitting next to him with a frozen expression.

With regards to the upgrade of the F-16 fleet by the US, Kammenos said that such a move needs parliamentary approval. He indicated that the Greece’s creditors’ demands regarding the primary surplus targets make the program difficult due to its cost of 1.1 billion euros.

Due to shortage of financial resources, Kammenos put on ice also a possible purchase of 20 fighter jets F-35 from the US. “We want to give our pilots the best means but we do not have the possibility for the time being,” he said adding any discussion on this issue is “hypothetical.”

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