Greek-Turkish Relations
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The outgoing Chief of the General Staff of National Defence sounded the alarm: "Do not be fooled by the prolonged peace of the last 60-70 years"

"Mission accomplished!" for the outgoing Chief of the General of the National Defence Staff, now General Konstantinos Floros.
Where it all began 44 years ago, at the Evelpidon School in Vari, General Konstantinos Floros received from the hands of a young Evelpi the flag with the casing of the General of the National Defence Staff, completing the mission he undertook four years ago.

Four years in which, if anything, the outgoing Chief of the General Staff of the National Defence Staff acted on the basis of the saying of Pericles that he used in his farewell speech: "We face dangers willingly and not with a heavy heart, we face them out of bravery more than out of obedience to a law...And this is a great gain for us."

During Konstantinos Floros' tenure, the Armed Forces faced the longest Greek-Turkish crisis, repelling together with the security forces the hybrid attack in Evros, preventing the violation of sovereign rights during the departure of the Oruts Reis in the Eastern Mediterranean and making a catalytic contribution to the response to the coronavirus.

"And the difficult things came quickly, unexpectedly, suddenly. February-March 2020. All of Greece remembers what took place in Evros. An unprecedented hybrid threat and largely hybrid attempt to breach our land borders, with a massive and uncontrolled attempt to influx 150,000 illegal immigrants, with the aim of collapsing the system and the sense of security of the country, but potentially also of the EU. 

It was successfully repelled. We enforced our will together and in close cooperation with the security forces. Because, if you strip away wars, conflicts and all kinds of conflicts, what remains are rival and countervailing Parliaments. 

We have therefore imposed the will of the Fatherland, as we are commanded. All Greece watched, watched and agonized for the result. And all Greece embraced its Armed Forces for their vigour, efforts, self-denial and struggle to accomplish their mission. To perform their Duty! And all of Greece rejoiced in their success. 

Evros has not fallen and will never fall! The whole of 2020 was thus spent with increased alertness and continuous deployment of our forces on land, sea and air, for months on end, culminating in the almost four-month crisis in the SE Mediterranean, due to the ORUC REIS research vessel and the huge concentration of forces.

And all of Greece was once again watching its Armed Forces on television. Its ships, its planes, its submarines, its land forces on Evros and the islands, responding to the constant challenges, with presence and actions day and night and everywhere, on land, sea and air, not letting anything fall down", General Konstantinos Floros described, wishing everyone "Good Luck!" as he pointed out that the future holds dangers: "Do not be fooled by the prolonged peace of the last 60-70 years. Do not let the "60 years of prosperity of the past 60-70 years" be the reason why the peace of the past should not last for long.

The new Chief of the General of the National Defence Staff General Dimitris Houpis is now called upon to put into practice the transformation of the Armed Forces based on the lessons learned from the wars in Ukraine, the Caucasus and the Middle East, within the country's budgetary constraints.

There have certainly been mistakes. There have certainly been oversights, but anyone who acts will inevitably make mistakes. But the end result is positive and the historical truth will oblige us all to say that General Konstantinos Floros was the right man in the right place for those four dangerous years.

From this, the undersigned deems it appropriate to recall a phrase heard decades ago about another historic demobilization, that of Douglas MacArthur: But I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day that proclaimed with the greatest pride that "the old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

And like the old soldier in that ballad, I am now closing my military career and just fading away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty."

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