The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) for the European elections in June, underlined, on Sunday 7 April in Athens, the importance of “defending prosperity and security” in Europe facing “attacks” from Russia.

“The stakes in the upcoming elections are high. Our peaceful and united Europe is being called into question like never before,” said Ursula von der Leyen, during a speech to the fifteenth congress of the ruling Greek right-wing New Democracy party.

“Russia does not only seek to erase Ukraine from the face of the Earth”, “Russia’s aggression is broader” with “hybrid attacks against Europe”, “social media manipulation or l “instrumentalization of migrants”, she judged.

“Putin’s friends are trying to rewrite our history”

As polls predict a surge of the far right in the June 9 European elections, the President of the European Commission warned that “[Vladimir] Putin’s friends are trying to rewrite our history (…) whether in the guise of of populists or demagogues”, whether it is the far-right parties AfD (Alternative für Deutschland) in Germany, National Rally in France or Confederation (Konfederacja) in Poland.

“They want to destroy our Europe. And we will never let that happen,” she said emphatically. “Our job is to fight back”, “we defend Europe. We defend democracy. We stand for prosperity and security,” said the EPP candidate.

She reiterated the need to “increase European defense spending” and praised the “invaluable support” of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose country is among those “leading the way,” devoting more than 2% of the gross domestic product for defense.

Greece is “the first step in my campaign (…) and I cannot imagine a better starting point,” said the President of the Commission, invited to the New Democracy congress, whose work began on Friday and ended on Sunday. afternoon.