Νikolaos Chardalias Meeting with Defence Attachés for DEFEA 2023
On Wednesday, 18 January 2023, the Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Chardalias, attended a meeting hosted by the Ministry of National Defence in order to present to twenty foreign Defence Attachés and diplomatic mission members the framework of the 2nd Defence Exhibition Athens – DEFEA 2023.
“DEFEA 2023”, which will take place from 9 to 11 May 2023 in Athens, is under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defence and is organised, in cooperation with the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association (SEKPY), by the exhibition company ROTA SA.
During the meeting, which took place at the Ministry of National Defence, the Deputy Minister of National Defence gave the opening address, followed by a briefing on the main activities of SEKPY by its President, Mr. Anastasios Rozolis, as well as a presentation of the framework of “DEFEA 2023” by the organiser, Mr. Vasilios Barkas.
The meeting was attended by:
– The Defence Attachés and diplomatic mission members to Athens of Egypt, Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, France, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Italy, China, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, the Czech Republic, as well as the Defence Attachés to Rome of Austria and Indonesia.
– The General Director of the General Directorate for Defence Investments and Armaments of the Ministry of National Defence, Vice Admiral Aristidis Alexopoulos HN (ret.), and his Deputy, Lieutenant General Misail Papadakis (ret.).
– On behalf of SEKPY, the President of the Board, Mr. Anastasios Rozolis, with four board members.
– On behalf of ROTA SA, the President of the Board, Mr. Georgios Tsaousoglou, the Managing Director, Mr. Alexis Lagoudakis, the organiser of “DEFEA 2023”, Mr. Vasilios Barkas, and three officials.
– The Directors of the Political and Military Offices of the Deputy Minister of National Defence and Staff Officers from the Military Offices of the Minister and Deputy Minister of National Defence, as well as the Hellenic General Defence, Army, Navy, and Air Force General Staffs.
The Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Chardalias, gave the following opening address:
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome you at the Ministry of National Defence for a briefing on the second DEFEA, our international defence and security exhibition, which will take place from 9 to 11 May 2023.
Ladies and gentlemen, I will keep saying that the development of the Hellenic defence industry is a priority for the Ministry of National Defence. The national defence industry is the backbone of the Armed Forces and, as a consequence, acts as a catalyst in order to achieve strategic autonomy. But it goes further than that. A robust defence industry contributes to the growth of the economy, creates jobs, improves the trade balance, and contributes to an atmosphere of optimism at national level.
Our orders from the Prime Minister are clear: Take drastic measures to transform a problematic defence industry, afflicted by years of fiscal austerity, cuts, neglect, and improper management to a cornerstone of our national defence mechanism. As of the summer of 2019, the political and military leadership of the Ministry has been working hard every single day to achieve just that.
Today, the state of our national defence industry has changed dramatically. Boosted by the end of the MoU regime and close supervision, Greek defence industries participate in many innovative research and development projects, either alone or in partnerships. Furthermore, they have become much more outward-oriented. Greek companies now systematically exhibit their products in some of the most important defence equipment exhibitions globally.
These are the results of a government policy that sees the defence industry area not as a field for shallow and short-sighted initiatives, aiming at temporary political gains or satisfying the party clientele, but as an integral part of Greek economy and national defence. This policy is certainly adapted to the new geopolitical framework, which is characterised by increasing instability, strategic competition, and increased security threats, including the aggression of Russia against Ukraine, as well as in line with the recent EU decision to reinforce the European defence industry through joint programmes and contracts in order to upgrade Europe’s defence capabilities.
The organisation of the first DEFEA in 2021 was a great success, as proven by the participation of 315 top defence companies from 22 countries and the presence of a global audience with 45 official national delegations at the very high political and military level. This year, in cooperation with ROTA Exhibitions Greece and the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association, we aim even higher! In particular, we are ready to welcome participants from more than 25 countries, together with hundreds of representatives of the Greek and international defence community, industrial leaders, as well as political and military officials. It is certain that, from 9 to 11 May 2023, the heart of the international defence industry will be beating in Athens!
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here today. I am looking forward to seeing you all again in DEFEA! I will now give the floor to Mr. Tasos Rozolis, President of the Hellenic Manufacturers of Defence Material Association, who will brief you on the Association’s main activities, and then to Mr. Vasilios Barkas, the organiser of DEFEA, who will describe the framework of the Exhibition”.