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Politics

Mitsotakis Calls on Germans to Visit Greece in Interview with Bild

BERLIN — By July and August – the tourist high season in Greece – things will resemble more of a normal summer, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told German daily Bild in an interview published on Thursday.

He called on Germans to visit Greece, saying that people will want to travel and relax after the coronavirus pandemic. He also estimated that Greece will have double the number of tourists it did in 2020, when numbers reached 25% of the 2019 tourist totals. He said trends allowed optimism.

"Greece of 2021 bears no relation to Greece of 2015 or of 2010," he noted. "It is a different country. We no longer operate in an environment of so-called supervisors. We are a sovereign state. Yes, we remain under surveillance following the program, as it is called, but if we look at the changes we want to make, they are the changes we ourselves want to make because we have decided they will benefit Greece."

Among several issues discussed, the Greek premier said he "has a very good relationship" with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and despite the disagreements he respects her as a European leader. "She is the voice of logic, but Germany is a very powerful republic. No republic depends on a single person – at some point, all political careers come to an end," he added.

Asked to comment on the arrest of Belarus journalist Roman Protasevich in Minsk after his flight was diverted, he called the incident "a hijack" and said he read several theories about spies on board, allegations which are baseless.

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