Statements by the Spanish ambassador to Athens, made in an interview with a Sunday newspaper concerning the Catalan issue have sparked the foreign minister's intense reaction.
The Spanish diplomat noted among other things in an interview with "Free Press" that the government did not condemn Catalonia's decision to secede, as opposed to the President of the New Democracy pary and the President of the Hellenic Republic. "I spoke personally with Mr Mitsotakis, who unequivocally expressed the support and maximum understanding of New Democracy about the unity of Spain," he added, adding: "I have also heard clear statements from the President of the Republic. For me this is a clear stance. Obviously there are no statements on this issue from the government, but it does not take much effort to see what the reality is. "
In an angry, statement, the Greek Foreign Ministry noted:
"We were surprised to see in the Sunday press comments, publicly criticizing the Greek Government, made by the Ambassador of our friend and ally Spain.
The comments in question, namely that the President of the Republic does not express the Government, are an affront to the Constitution of Greece. Moreover, by implying that there is disagreement between the President of the Republic and the Government, he provocatively crosses the diplomatically tolerated lines. His public adoption of the erroneous arguments of the opposition constitutes unacceptable involvement in the country’s domestic politics, and his conduct suggests he is acting in coordination with the main opposition party.
In his comments, the Spanish Ambassador discredits the Hellenic Judiciary, which sentenced the members of Rubicon who broke into the Spanish Embassy to six months in prison. By contrast, the 2011 Embassy break-in by activists, which went unpunished, caused no public intervention on the part of the Spanish Embassy.
We call on the Spanish Ambassador to conduct himself in a manner consistent with the rules of diplomacy. We await his proceeding without delay to the retraction of the unfortunate statements and his provision of the requisite explanations to the Greek Government."