With the intervention of Madrid is resolved the diplomatic episode that emerged due to its ambassador “unfair” attitude in Athens. Mr Enrique Viguera, through his statements to a Sunday newspaper, seemed to side with New Democracy and to highlight a supposed “discord” between the government and the President of the Republic regarding the Greek stance to the Catalan crisis.
According to information, on Monday, in Madrid, the Spanish undersecretary of Foreign Affairs Jorge Toledo Albinana, (who is considered to be “Rajoy’s confidant”), received the Greek ambassador to whom he is reported to have stated, among other things, that the Spanish ambassador’s behavior in Athens is totally out of line.
“Being told off”
Expressing his dismay for the turmoil caused, the Spanish undersecretary is reported to have mentioned that Madrid has already reproached its ambassador.
Characterizing the relevant statements made by the ambassador as a ‘’faux pas’’, Mr. Albinana is said to have attributed them to the ambassador’s lack of experience in Greek affairs and more specifically as it regards the “Constitutional and political order” in Greece, while he referred to the incident as a “momentary lapse.”
After extolling the “warm and sincere relationship between the two prime ministers”, he expressed his warm gratitude for “the statements made by the Greek President and the Government Spokesman against the secession of Catalonia”, which, as he reportedly said himself, “were exactly what we needed at that moment.”
It is worth noting that initially the meeting of the Greek ambassador in Madrid was scheduled with the Secretary-General of the ministry. The high rank of the Spanish official alone indicates the importance given by Madrid in order to smooth out the situation caused by the statements of the Spanish ambassador in Athens. Besides, it is no coincidence that during the above-mentioned meeting Mr Albinana expressed Madrid’s keenness to “accelerate progress in Spanish-Greek relationships”, which he is said to have characterized as “already spectacular in all areas.”
Folding and recanting by Mr Viguera
According to information, the ambassador of Spain in Greece, Mr. Enrique Viguera, who was invited on Monday by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to provide clarifications as to the statements he is reported to have made to a Greek Sunday newspaper, appeared to be apologetic, while he placed the blame on the journalist, who, in his view, did not report his statements correctly. On behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs he was asked to recant his “unfortunate” statements, which is what subsequently happened with the following announcement posted by the Embassy of Spain to Greece on its website:
“The Embassy of Spain is grateful for the comments of the Government Spokesman and the declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last weekend in favour of the territorial integrity of Spain, as well as rejecting unilateral actions that undermine the unity of the country and the principle of intangibility of borders.
Regarding the statements of the ambassador of Spain last weekend to a local media, he regrets that they have given rise to interpretations that in no way correspond to reality, nor to his desire to work in a constructive manner in favour of a close and straight relationship with the Greek authorities.
Our two countries, allies and friends, are united by strong bonds of friendship and culture and this Embassy will do everything possible to deepen this extraordinary relation that unites us.”