NATO military base in Souda on the island of Crete. © Stefanos Rapanis / Reuters

The leader of the Communist Party of Greece, Dimitris Koutsoumpas, has lambasted Athens for appeasing the US and EU governments, by allowing what he claims are American nukes in the country.

In an interview with ANT1 TV, the Greek communist leader has once again claimed that there are more US and NATO military facilities in the country than is commonly known-about.

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He said that the US is reportedly stockpiling its nuclear arms in Araxos Air Base, has deployed drones to Larisa air field and keeps helicopters in Alexandroupoli. In addition to the joint US-NATO Souda Bay Naval Base in Crete, the alliance’s troops are also stationed in the east of the Aegean Sea under the pretext of countering a refugee influx, the politician claims. 

Koutsoumpas is accusing the Greek government of bowing to EU and US rhetoric. According to the communist leader, another example of this is that Athens is mulling over whether to allow American warships to dock at the Greek island of Syros in the Aegean Sea.

Questioning NATO’s ability to protect the country as it pursues its own goals in the region, Koutsoumpas called for Greece to leave the military block and close its military facilities there.

It is not the first time the politician has given such a speech. In 2017, Koutsoumpas said that the Araxos base in western Greece is being upgraded to receive US nuclear warheads from the NATO base at Turkey’s Incirlik.

Greek communist newspaper Rizospastis then dubbed the possible move as “playing with fire.” The news triggered rallies in the third largest city in Greece, Patras, where people protested the alleged plans to deploy US nuclear arms to the country.

The existence of such plans was firmly denied by the Greek government back then. The country’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias affirmed in public that the deployment of the US nukes was not even a topic to discuss.

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