Mitsotakis: “We Must Be Extremely Careful to Avoid a Resurgence of the Pandemic”

December 7, 2020

ATHENS — "The vaccination against the coronavirus will begin, barring any unforeseen developments, at the beginning of January," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said during a cabinet meeting on Monday.

Mitsotakis underlined the need for caution, "despite the fact that we are seeing some encouraging signs of a decline of cases."

"we must be extremely careful to avoid a resurgence of the epidemic and to give our hospitals respite until the well organised vaccination of the entire population, which will start – barring any unforeseen developments – at the beginning of January," he said.

He also announced that he will outline the reasoning behind the government's decisions regarding the operation of the market during this period, in a televised interview to be broadcast on Monday afternoon.

"Three important initiatives"

Referring to the agenda of the cabinet meeting, he focused on what he described as three important initiatives.

These concern the new framework for Model Proposals presented by the Infrastructure and Transport Minister, the final plans for the transition of former lignite-producing areas in Western Macedonia and Megalopolis to be presented by the environment and energy minister and the National Cyber Security Strategy, which is – as Mitsotakis pointed out – a complete framework which protects digital applications and services.

Regarding the Model Proposals, he said that it was a central pre-election pledge made by ruling New Democracy.

"To put it simply, private entities will be able to propose large infrastructure projects themselves, which they have researched and developed using their own funds. This means flexibility with respect to bureaucracy and activation of private innovation for the benefit of the State. And, of course, another way to use the significant resources from the European Recovery Fund," the prime minister pointed out.

Regarding the final development plan for the regions of Western Macedonia and Megalopolis, he said this had already incorporated the experience of public consultation, and that it was a gigantic effort whose total economic value exceeded five billion euros, which will change the total production model of these two areas, with investments in smart agriculture, modern processing, sustainable tourism, education and technology.

"Sixteen of the proposals submitted to us have already been included in the plan that will be presented today at the Council of Ministers," said Mitsotakis.

The third initiative is the National Cybersecurity Strategy. This is a complete framework which – as the prime minister said – shields digital applications and services, has 15 specific objectives and involves more than 50 actions. He described it as "a necessary legislative step that not only fights cybercrime, but also offers Greece the added value of a secure digital environment."

Finally, the prime minister said that another cabinet meeting will be held shortly before Christmas, where the issues that the government has dealt with throughout the year will be reviewed "in order to determine to what extent we lived up to the goals we set at the start of the year."


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