ATHENS — "Europe has shown that it has the internal strength to change,"Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, in statements after his meeting with European Council President Charles Michel at the Maximos Mansion.
"Today it is heading toward the next day armed with the Recovery Fund. I remember [we had] five days of intensive negotiations at the summit in July. We achieved something very important. It started with an idea that we had submitted in a letter with another eight leaders of state and government. At the time it seemed like a 'midsummer night's dream' but afterwards it became action," he said.
"As the exit from the pandemic has now become visible, so have the results of our cooperation become visible," the prime minister added.
"A unified system for the supply and distribution of vaccines was ensured and now a digital certificate that [permits] travel is being established," Mitsotakis noted, referring to the Greek platform for the EU digital Covid certificate presented earlier the same day.
According to the prime minister, "this is an important European achievement that was turned into action in a very short space of time. I am glad that Greece led the way in this. We have exceeded five million vaccinations and played a leading role in the implementation of the digital certificate."
Mitsotakis said that during the discussion with Michel, he had underlined Greece's crucial contribution to the stability of an area that was vital for the interests of the EU.
He pointed out that Greece was the first southern European country to join the EU after it was founded, while both its EU presidencies had been associated with EU enlargements. "This is not only a deliberate choice for us but a symbolic mission that always goes in tandem with expanding the European acquis," he added.
Issues relating to Turkey were also discussed, he revealed, noting that the only way there could be a substantial rapprochement with Ankara was for the provocations, illegal actions and aggressive rhetoric to cease.