ATHENS – "We are at a critical threshold for the reopening of the Greek economy, but also for society," main opposition SYRIZA spokesperson Alexis Charitsis said in an interview on Tuesday with Real FM.
He called on the government to come up with a "clear, concrete and well-documented plan for the day after, in consultation with the scientific community and with a view to protecting public health," while stressing the risks, with an emphasis on the economy. On the government's decision to reopen schools, especially primary and middle schools, he described this as "scientifically unfounded but also educationally irrational – since we are near the end of the school year – and there are no pressing educational reasons."
"The reopening of schools is hasty, unnecessary and dangerous," he stressed.
Regarding the economy, Charitsis said that "the reports of international companies, but also of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are shocking in terms of the course of the economy over the next two years." At the same time, he added, government officials were adopting a "light-hearted" scenario of a sharp recovery following the deep recession.
"Unfortunately, these scenarios are not being confirmed. On the contrary, there is a proliferation of scenarios forecasting a deep recession and economic slump," he commented. Compared with other European economies, he noted, "the recovery in Greece will be much more difficult, mainly due to our economy's dependence on tourism, and small and medium-sized enterprises and sectors related to tourism, such as retail and catering, and also, of course, because of its dependence on private consumption."
He stressed that for these reasons, "it is necessary to take measures to protect the Greek economy now, because if we enter a vicious circle of prolonged recession, thousands of companies will close and unemployment will spike."
In particular, he spoke of injecting direct liquidity into businesses and employees, with an emphasis on tourism, "for which, unfortunately, there is currently no framework for implementing health protocols on how they will work and how they will be supported."