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COVID Deaths Rise, But Greece Still Relaxes Pandemic Restrictions

ATHENS – Despite record numbers of deaths bringing the total to 23,083 during the almost two-year-long COVID-19 pandemic, Greece is easing health measures to focus on an economic recovery.

Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said entertainment venues such as night clubs, bars, cafes and restaurants won’t have to close at midnight and can play music, which had been prohibited, if ignored in places.

And no dancing will be allowed as night club customers will have to stay in their seats and listen to the music without getting up, no word on how that would be enforced.

There will still be a limit at sports arenas of 10 percente of capacity, up to a maximum of 1,000 but that could be relaxed within a week, he indicated even as the number of deaths keeps going up daily and anti-vaxxers are spreading the Coronavirus.

He said he accepted recommendations from the New Democracy government’s advisory panel of doctors and scientists, which was based on the declining number of overall cases.

But public hospitals are still struggling to deal with the numbers, especially with the Omicron Variant now beginning to recede. “The required hospitalization and the severity of symptoms are smaller than with the Delta mutation,” Plevris said, reported Kathimerini.

He also decided to extend the validity of vaccination certificates by a week, to Feb. 7  to allow residents who had their booster appointments canceled because of the snowstorm to reschedule them.

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ATHENS - If the Bank of Greece did not operate under the protection of the institutional framework of independence, after what happened in 2015, the country would have perhaps left the eurozone, Bank of Greece (BoG) governor, Yannis Stournaras, said on Saturday during the Kathimerini conference in a panel titled: "In the next 50 years, is Democracy safe?" Is Greece reformable?" "Who doubts that if it wasn't for the Bank of Greece, we might not be in the euro after the adventure of 2015?" he said.

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