Mitsotakis: Decisions Prompted by Sharp Change in Number of Cases

November 5, 2020

ATHENS — Replying to press questions after he announced the start of a three-week nationwide lockdown in Greece starting next Saturday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that his decision to order a lockdown just days after announcing a set of less stringent restrictions was because there was a sharp change during this week, with cases rising exponentially.

The prime minister was asked whether he had failed to properly assess the situation and noted that the decisions were a response to the previous week's data.

"For reasons we are not certain we understand, there was an exponential growth in the spread of the virus in the last week. Last Thursday I took the first decision but something changed dramatically this week. We saw a rapid reproduction of the virus and we are starting to see the same trends in other parts of the country," said the prime minister, adding: "I have to remind you that based on last Thursday's data the picture in the country was much better than the one in all the other European countries but this will change this week. I chose to take measures before the country turns red and the health system comes under great pressure."

Our intention, said Mitsotakis "is to contain the rapid spread of the virus now, not only to avoid putting pressure on our hospitals, which is my first priority, but also because I want us a return to some semblance of normality in December, the holiday season, which is an important period for the market."

He clarified, however that this normality would have rules and that Greece "will not return where we were in June and in August," underlining that the resilience of the economy is significant and that the country "has ammunition" at its disposal.



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