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Politics

Mitsotakis Invites Pope Francis to Visit Greece, Discuss COVID-19

ATHENS -Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke with Pope Francis about the COVID-19 Coronavirus that decimated Italy and invited him to come to Greece to talk about the pandemic.

Greece had one of the best records in the world dealing with the virus because of an early lockdown Mitsotakis imposed that required people to mostly stay at home and closed all non-essential buildings.

That is being gradually lifted as Greece still hopes for some kind of a summer tourism season, the sector being the country's biggest revenue engine and with the economy, which had been expected to grow 2-3 percent seen shrinking as much as 10 percent.

According to the press release on the phone call, the Pope "recognized Greece's great efforts" to protect the most vulnerable groups, such as refugees, and expressed regret about the lack of wider European support in relocating unaccompanied refugee minors, said Kathimerini.

Mitsotakis also discussed the government's environmental policy, even as the New Democracy party is trying to make it easier for development and critics saying not being environmentally friend, a key point of interest for Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

Mitsotakis extended an invitation to the church leader to visit Greece again when circumstances allow, suggesting that the visit include landmark sites of the early history of Christianity, “in the footsteps of Apostle Paul,” it was reported.

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