Deputy Minister of National Defence, Nikos Hardalias will be visiting Australia as part of his agenda to strengthen the national defence relationship between Greece and Australia.

The deputy minister has scheduled several meetings with state and national officials during his stay in October and November.

Mr Hardalias will be accompanying a unit of the Greek Presidential Guard (Evzones) that will partake in the commemorative events honouring Oxi Day in South Australia and Western Australia.

Unconfirmed information suggests that a main topic of the discussions Mr Hardalias will hold in Adelaide in Perth will be Turkey’s provocative rhetoric and behaviour.

“We are ready for any event, even the worst possible scenario. The Greek borders on land, air and sea are effectively protected thanks to the impenetrable wall erected by our Armed Forces and Security Forces,” Deputy National Defence Minister Nikos Hardalias said on Tuesday in an interview with the newspaper Karfitsa.

In order to upgrade the capabilities of the Armed Forces, the Deputy Minister of National Defence noted that “expenditures for armaments programmes, by their nature, cannot be compared to any other category of expenditures, since they aim to protect the highest public good of national defence.”

“And national defence is the necessary prerequisite for the realisation of all the other national goals, the very foundation of our country’s existence,” he added.

The dilemma “armaments or fiscal stability”, as he said, “is deceptive and those who use it are left exposed. We need both fiscal balance and a robust national defence. This government has proved it can deliver both.”

Regarding Turkey, Hardalias underlined that it “continues to act as a factor of instability and the stoking of tension in the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.”

In another recent interview, during a visit to Kastellorizo, the deputy minister stated: “Here from the remote Kastellorizo, close to the officers and conscripts of the Armed Forces, we work for peace, we shield our country and above and beyond anything else, in the face of aggressive, arrogant rhetoric we respond with sobriety, we respond calmly. We make it clear that the men and women of the Armed Forces remain ready, whenever necessary, to defend the sacred and the holy, our national independence, the sovereign rights of all Hellenism.”