“As the Minister of National Defense of the Hellenic Republic, I first of all want to express, from here, the headquarters of the 1st Army in Larissa, my most sincere condolences to the relatives of the victims of the recent unprecedented summer, as well as my warm wishes for the recovery of the injured”, said Minister of National Defense, Nikos Dendiasafter his visit today, Tuesday, September 12, 2023, to the headquarters of the 1st Army in Larissa, accompanied by the Chief of General Staff General Konstantinos Floros.

He added: “I would also like to express our empathy and support to those affected by the bad weather.

Be sure of the practical support of all of us, as the Prime Minister announced.

I also wish to express, and I already did so earlier, at the meeting that took place at the Coordination Center, not only my thanks, but also my deep gratitude to the women and men of the Armed Forces of our country.

With self-sacrifice, with a high sense of duty, they offered all possible help to our stricken fellow citizens, under unprecedented and difficult conditions.

Without calculating toil, without calculating risk. In fact, at the same time that possibly their own families were facing similar problems. Their help, in thousands of cases, proved lifesaving.

It would be remiss of me, however, if I did not express my thanks and my congratulations to the women and men of the Fire Brigade, the Greek Police, the Coast Guard and the other Authorities, who cooperated in the rescue and relief operations, as well as to the many volunteers who joined the effort.

They proved that the concepts of duty and contribution to fellow man are not a species in deficiency in the Greek society of the 21st century.

Finally, I would like to appeal to all of us to rise to the occasion in these difficult times.

The Armed Forces of our country do not belong to governments or parties. They belong to the Greek people and the Nation. They keep our territorial and national integrity intact, against all kinds of threats. After all, we experienced it in the most intense way in recent years.

The Armed Forces are a source of pride for the Nation and the people of which it is an integral part. They remain supporters of Greek society in every moment of its crisis.

Of course, any criticism is absolutely welcome, but I would ask the few not to disparage the Armed Forces for reasons of small expediency and sensationalism.

It is not only unfair, this would perhaps be tolerated, it is deeply nationally damaging.

I don’t need to remind you where the country was and what it was facing just a few months ago. As I always say, Greece did not become Luxembourg.

Thank you”.