ATHENS – News that lawmakers in Greece’s Parliament were wearing COVID-19 FFP2 masks made in Turkey was news to them and they weren’t happy about it, although the purchase deal was made with Germany.
The masks say Made in Turkiye, which was pointed out by a leading KKE Communist Member of Parliament, Liana Kanelli, who told her colleagues in a speech about it, the Greek news outlet In reported.
It made news in Turkey too where the pro-government The Daily Sabah reported it at a time when tension is rising again between the countries in a dispute over seas sovereignty.
“The masks you distributed to us in parliament are from Turkey. It says ‘Made in Turkiye.’ It’s not bad. But although migrants from Turkey cannot get through, commercial interests are passing through,” she said.
That was in reference to Greece’s ruling New Democracy trying to keep out more refugees and migrants from Turkey – who went there fleeing war, strife and economic hardship in their homelands.
Parliament Speaker Konstantinos Tasoulas confirmed that the masks were made in Turkey and tried to put a positive spin on the apparent embarrassment over what the Greek lawmakers were wearing over their mouths.
“We opened a public tender for supplying high-protection masks and eventually, a German company that gave the best bid won it,” he said and added, “However, we did not know that the German company has a factory in Turkey to produce masks,” he said.
He noted that the deal would not have beem made if it was known the masks were made in Turkey without saying why as the differences between the countries hasn’t slowed trade.
There was no report whether the Greek lawmakers switched to other masks available in Greece or kept wearing the Turkish brand on their faces.