Nassau County DA Singas Announce New Partnership in Fight against Heroin Crisis

MINEOLA, NY – Nassau County District Attorney (NCDA) Madeline Singas announced on April 16 a groundbreaking partnership between the NCDA, Northwell Health, Nassau University Medical Center and Maryhaven’s New Hope Crisis Center to further close the deadly treatment gap by providing overdose patients with immediate transportation and admission into residential treatment from the emergency room.

“Since my office provided funding to expand New Hope’s services and admission hours in 2015, more than 2,200 people have been helped. They had a safe and supportive place to go through withdrawal and to be directed to the next phase of treatment. Now there will be no delay between the hospital and help,” DA Singas said. “Thanks to the collaboration between New Hope, Northwell Health and NuHealth, a person in crisis in an emergency room will not just be stabilized, released, and referred for future treatment – that person will meet a counselor in the emergency department and be transported directly to New Hope. Treatment and hope for the future will start immediately.”

As part of the NCDA’s three-pronged strategy against the heroin crisis, that includes enforcement, education, and treatment, DA Singas has negotiated a unique and innovative medically approved treatment program.

Yesterday, staff from Maryhaven’s New Hope Stabilization/Crisis Center – a member of Catholic Health Services of Long Island – began a pilot program with Northwell Health and Nassau University Medical Center. New Hope staff members are on call to respond directly to the hospital emergency rooms to work with the hospital staff to counsel the patient and immediately transport the patient to New Hope to begin treatment. The patient will be assessed to determine the next phase of treatment. The New Hope staff will assist the patient with any necessary insurance, Medicare or Medicaid paperwork. The patient will remain at New Hope until there is availability in the next program and the average length of stay is 7 to 10 days.

Typically, users who overdose and are revived are stabilized and released from the emergency department because withdrawal is not considered medically “life-threatening.” The person in crisis is released back into the community while experiencing withdrawal. If the patient is released to a family member, the family member is frequently unequipped to handle the challenges of a person painfully withdrawing from drugs.

This treatment gap leaves many patients on their own during the most violent, painful and difficult throes of withdrawal, often leading to repeat use that can continue uninterrupted until death. This cycle can also lead to crimes often associated with the need for money to support opiate abuse, like robbery and burglary.

Nassau University Medical Center has further committed to the efforts to fight this continuing epidemic by making 20 more beds available for detoxing patients, by working with Nassau County and Sheriff Vera Fludd to bring a re-entry Vivitrol program to the Nassau County Correctional Facility and by expediting a program to make medically assisted treatment inductions available through the emergency department.

Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said, “The groundbreaking partnership we’re announcing today represents a major step towards closing the addiction treatment gap in Nassau County. We know that we can’t arrest our way out of the opioid crisis. District Attorney Singas’ three-pronged strategy of enforcement, education, and treatment has already shown positive results, and today’s announcement will help us continue that progress in Nassau County.”

“Addiction is a very complex and painful condition that continues to overwhelm families in our local communities, as well as law enforcement and medical professionals who are tasked with providing answers,” said Northwell Health President, and CEO Michael J. Dowling. “That’s why this partnership with New Hope is so critical, especially during a public health crisis like the opioid epidemic. New Hope will serve as a bridge to treatment for patients in our emergency departments who are struggling with addiction. It’s an important step in our ongoing commitment to alter the course of this crisis.”

“Throughout Long Island, the scourge of drug addiction has taken far too many young lives. Nassau County’s neighborhoods — regardless of socioeconomic status — are the front lines in the fight against addiction and overdoses. Nassau University Medical Center is proud to announce the opening of three new programs to curb the advance of addiction and drug use by providing resources for those who need treatment in their own personal battles against addiction. We are proud to partner again with New Hope and Northwell Health, to do all in our power to stop the advance of addiction at its source. We are grateful for District Attorney Singas’ leadership on this most important fight,” said George Tsunis, Chairman, Nassau Health Care Corp.

“We are excited about this partnership which has the potential to save lives,” said Lewis Grossman, president and CEO of Maryhaven Center of Hope which runs New Hope, Nassau County’s only 24/7 stabilization residential center. “We are closing the treatment gap between an overdose, stabilization at an emergency department and discharge from a hospital. New Hope offers medically-assisted treatment in a safe space and assists patients in securing long-term treatment.”

Since 2015, when District Attorney Singas announced that her office committed $585,000 in criminal asset forfeiture funding to expand New Hope’s services, 2,212 individuals have benefitted from treatment through 2018.

The DA’s funding allowed New Hope to expand admissions to 24/7 coverage. It also allowed New Hope to hire a nurse practitioner and psychiatrist to allow admission to patients with underlying health issues and to provide medically assisted treatment.

In 2018, according to the Nassau County Medical Examiner, 123 individuals died of an opioid-related overdose in Nassau County. Currently, the Medical Examiner has 72 cases that are pending cause of death determination, and those cases may or may not be opioid overdose-related.

In 2017, 184 individuals died of an overdose in Nassau County.

DA Singas, who is co-chair of the Nassau County Heroin Prevention Task Force and whose office is part of the DEA’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, also continues to sponsor the “Not My Child” series of anti-heroin presentations in local that has been presented to tens of thousands of students in Nassau County.

More information on New Hope and other Long Island treatment programs is available online: heroinprevention.com.

“Breaking News” Conference on Greece, Turkey, and Media at Columbia University

NEW YORK – The conference entitled Breaking News: Greece, Turkey, and the Media in the New Political Landscape takes place May 3-4 at Columbia University and seeks to understand the ways in which the production, circulation, and consumption of news affect contemporary Greek-Turkish relations.

The role of news media was brought to the fore during the 1996 dispute between the two countries over the Imia/Kardak islet in the Aegean Sea, when extensive news coverage played a driving role in escalating tensions. While most considerations of Greek-Turkish relations tend to focus on historical animosity or geopolitical developments, this two-day conference will ask what understandings of these relations emerge from an examination of the ways in which news media shape foreign policy. This question is particularly pressing today as a result of developments in digital technologies and the radical reconfiguration of the media and political landscape in Greece and Turkey. The conference will bring together academics, policy makers, journalists, and media producers to consider topics such as the significance of information and objectivity in an era of so-called “fake news,” the role of public opinion in the shaping of foreign policy, diplomacy and statecraft in the digital era, and the methodological challenges of studying news media as crucial actors in international relations.

Beginning at Columbia on Friday, May 3 at the Faculty House from 9:30 AM-6:30 PM and concluding on Saturday, May 4 at Deutsches Haus, 9:30 AM-12:30 PM, the conference will undoubtedly provide fascinating insights into the subject.

The conference is organized by the Program in Hellenic Studies, the Hellenic Studies Program at California State University—Sacramento, Columbia’s Global Center in Istanbul, and the University Seminar in Modern Greek, with additional sponsorship by the Sakıp Sabancı Center for Turkish Studies and the Department of Classics.

The Organizing Committee: Dimitris Antoniou of Columbia University, Katerina Lagos of California State University, Sacramento, and Ipek Cem Taha of Columbia Global Centers Istanbul.

More information to be announced: https://hellenic.columbia.edu/events/seminars-and-events.

Acropolis Reopens in Athens after Severe Weather Warning

ATHENS (AP) — Authorities in Greece have reopened the ancient Acropolis to visitors after a temporary weather-related closure the day after a lightning strike injured four people.

The Culture Ministry said the severe weather that had been forecast for Athens earlier Thursday failed to materialize so the Acropolis was reopened.

On Wednesday, two visitors and two guards were slightly injured in the lightning strike at the country’s most famous ancient site.

The Culture Ministry said the citadel’s lightning conductor, which is set apart from the 2,500-year-old marble buildings, was hit.

The impact shattered glass windows nearby. The guards and the two female visitors were taken to a hospital with cuts.

The monuments suffered no damage.

Drugs Found on Montenegro Military Training Ship Ahead of Journey to Greece

PODGORICA (AP) — Montenegro’s defense ministry says the army has discovered drugs hidden on a navy training ship ahead of its planned journey to Turkey and Greece.

The ministry says the military police searched the Jadran, or the Adriatic, early Friday after learning that certain criminal gangs were planning to use it to smuggle drugs.

According to a statement from the ministry, dozens of kilograms (pounds) of suspected drugs were found during the search at the Tivat harbor and legal proceedings are underway.

The ship has been at the center of a dispute between the small Balkan country and neighboring Croatia, which claims ownership to it following the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

It was not immediately clear when the 86-year-old ship will set off on the planned training trip with 42 students.

FILE – In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, crewmen sail aboard the training ship ‘Jadran’ near the port of Tivat, Montenegro. Montenegrin defense ministry says the army has discovered drugs hidden on a military training ship ahead of its planned journey to Turkey and Greece. The ministry says that military police early on Friday, April 19, 2019 searched the ship called ‘Jadran’, or the Adriatic, after learning that certain criminal gangs were planning to use it to smuggle drugs. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

FILE – In this Sept. 6, 2018 file photo, crewmen sail aboard the training ship ‘Jadran’ near the port of Tivat, Montenegro. Montenegrin defense ministry says the army has discovered drugs hidden on a military training ship ahead of its planned journey to Turkey and Greece. The ministry says that military police early on Friday, April 19, 2019 searched the ship called ‘Jadran’, or the Adriatic, after learning that certain criminal gangs were planning to use it to smuggle drugs. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic, File)

#MeToo and the Danger of Having an Antiseptic U.S.

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 fessed that he was unable to precisely define obscenity, “but I know it when I see it.”

Similarly, most reasonable people know, more or less, the appropriate boundaries of social interaction. Rape is obviously wrong, and illegal; saying “nice purse” to a woman is fine. In the very wide range between those two extremes, there are a host of words and actions that range from perfectly acceptable to absolutely forbidden – but often those conclusions are drawn in the mind of the beholder.

For years, we’ve heard of “casting couches” where Hollywood moguls and other powerful celebrities – mostly male – groped (or worse) victims – mostly female – who often suffered in silence for years. It was an acknowledged, and to some extent begrudgingly accepted societal ill – much like spousal abuse or philandering – perpetuated most often by men at the expense of women.

Then came the #MeToo Movement, which went viral seemingly overnight, and suddenly celebrities such as Bill O’Reilly, Bill Cosby, Kevin Spacey, and Harvey Weinstein, and many others, saw their spectacular careers come to a stark halt.

Taken at face value, every true incident of actual sexual assault is unacceptable, and its perpetrator should face consequences proportionate to the misconduct. The only ones who would conceivably oppose such thinking are the sexual predators themselves.

But most people – by an overwhelming majority – are not sexual predators. So what are we to make of the #MeToo movement?
First of all, it is illogical to make blanket, absolute statements that “the victim is lying” or “the victim is telling the truth.” Every incident should be examined on a case-by-case basis, without an overriding agenda.
Second, truth and deception are not the only possible scenarios. Consider this example – an apt one, as summertime approaches: a group of six college freshmen, Adam, Becky, Colleen, David, Eddie, and Flora, are at the beach together. They have known each other since September, when they first met in school. They are friends, but not romantically involved. Suddenly, Adam sneaks up behind Becky and picks her up, as the rest of the friends laugh. “Put me down!” Becky says with a screaming laugh. Adam then carries her to the water while Becky continues to scream “no, don’t you dare!” and throws her in. Becky then stands up, still laughing at her own predicament, and rejoins the friends at their spot in the sand. Adam then runs to the refreshment stand and sees another friend, Greg, and tells him: “Look at Becky all over there – I just threw her in the water!” with a goofy, playful smile, as Greg laughs too.

A day later, Becky confidentially visits a college counselor on campus, and says the following: “Something happened to me a couple of days ago. I was at the beach with five other students, and this one guy – I don’t even know him that well but we all hang out in a group sometimes – picks me up. I didn’t know what to do. Everyone was laughing and so I felt I should too. He was carrying me to the water, and I remember feeling disgusted as his left hand was tucked around my waist and his right hand clutched my bare thigh. To balance myself, I had to put my arm around his shoulder. I know it was only for a few seconds, but it felt much longer. I hated the thought that he was manhandling and humiliating me that way. He threw me in and then I got out, embarrassed. Since all our friends were laughing, I didn’t want to seem like I didn’t have a sense of humor, and so I laughed it off. But I felt very violated and marginalized. And the whole incident keeps popping back into my head and I can’t shake it.”

The important part of this example is not whether Becky is overacting or completely justified in believing that Adam’s actions were inappropriate. The point is that if we asked Adam about it, he’d say: “Is she out of her mind? We were all goofing around. It was broad daylight, the beach was filled with people, and Becky was laughing the whole time! Anyone could plainly see she thought it was funny.” Therefore, neither Becky nor Adam is “lying” – each is telling his or her account of the story, absolutely believing in its truthfulness.
This gray area scenario is much more common than instances where either the perpetrator or the victim lies – although those exist as well. It is far less likely for a victim to fabricate a story – perhaps some might do it for the notoriety, or even for a bribe – but those are far more the exception than the rule.

So, in realizing that there are more Adams and Beckys in the world than there are incidents of unequivocal sexual assault that any jury would confirm, what do we do this summer – tell Adam to keep his hands to himself? Tell Adam if he wants to pull a spontaneous beach prank, he can’t – that instead he has to ask: “Hey Becky, is it ok to sneak up behind you a little later, pick you up, and throw you in the water?”

While I applaud that victims of sexual assault are no longer being ignored – at least not nearly as much as in the past – I fear that if the #MeToo movement overplays its hand, no pun intended, then potential presidential candidates like Joe Biden will either see their campaign derailed for touching women’s shoulders and kissing them on the back of the head, or will be reduced to apologizing profusely and keeping his hands in his pockets. And oh, by the way, what better way to neutralize Joe Biden than to stifle his most electable attribute – personal warmth. Think Trump’s behind that? Probably not. More likely is that it’s someone on the far left, who thinks Biden is too conservative for what the Democratic Party needs and wants nowadays.

Meanwhile, let’s all strive to use good judgment and perspective in our actions, and in our reactions.

Elections Coming, New Democracy Leads Big Over SYRIZA

ATHENS – With Greek municipal and European Parliament elections May 26, and national elections coming by October, the major opposition New Democracy continues to hold a double-digit lead over the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA that plummeted after Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras reneged for more than four years on anti-austerity promises.

The latest survey, by the firm Interview for the Vergina TV station in northern Greece, gave New Democracy a 10.5 percent lead in general elections and 13.7 percent for their candidates to become European Union lawmakers.

New Democracy held a 34-23.5 percent edge for the European Parliament and 36.4-22.7 percent for the general elections, with Tsipras now on a rampage of handouts and trying to wiggle out of more reforms he agreed with international creditors as he tries to regain favor with voters

Even worse for Tsipras and the Leftists, the survey – in an area of the ancient province of Macedonia, whose name Tsipras gave away for the newly-renamed North Macedonia to Greece’s north – regardless of their party standing, 72.8 percent of respondents said New Democracy would easily win the elections, and only 21 percent picked SYRIZA.

Another poll, by Metron Analysis for the Alpha television station of Athens, gave New Democracy a 7.3 percent lead for the European Parliament election, and a 7.8-point lead for a general election, their lowest margin in recent polls.

Based on the responses, only three other parties would get above the 3 percent threshold needed to get back into Parliament, the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) at 6.6 percent, the KKE Communists at 5.6 percent and the ultra-extreme right Golden Dawn, whose 15 lawmakers and dozens of members are in the fourth year of a trial on charges of running a criminal gang and using neo-Nazi tactics, which they deny.

Golden Dawn polled at 4.6 percent while on the outs are three other parties in Parliament, To Potami (The River,) the Union of Centrists and SYRIZA’s former junior coalition partner, the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greek (ANEL) of former defense minister Panos Kammenos, who withdrew from the administration in opposition to the North Macedonia name deal giveaway.

Shipping Tycoon Marinakis Says Tsipras Sought Loan for Businessman

ATHENS – Facing trial on charges of match-fixing, Olympiakos soccer team owner and shipping magnate Vanelis Marinakis quickly accused a top official of the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of trying to arrange a loan for a politically-connected businessman to buy a TV station license as the government was trying to control how many were issued.

The fiery and powerful Marinakis, who has faced a long line of accusations of shadowy dealings, said Digital Policy Minister Nikos Pappas came to him – saying it was at the behest of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras – to give a 26.3-million-euro ($29.58 million) loan to Christos Kalogritsas to get the license.

Marinakis made his claim during a radio interview on Real FM and said the loan was designed to cover the first installment of a broadcast license being auctioned off by the government before the scheme was stopped.

The political opposition and critics said Kalogritsas was a kind of straw man acting for Tsipras and SYRIZA in a bid to gain control of the media by making private TV licenses too expensive or aimed to be put in the hands of those friendly to the government.

Kalogritsas’ son, Yiannis, won one of the TV licenses initially and his father was accused of tax evasion as the finances of the family came under intense scrutiny as the tenders were being auctioned off.

Yiannis Kalogritsas pulled out after a request by his company for extra time to submit the first installment was rejected by the government and he said he was withdrawing, citing “corrupt circles” that had accused him of tax evasion and other offenses.

Marinakis, who throws his weight around, came out swinging haymakers with both fists at the government with his accusations about the loan being sought and dared a response in return.

“I challenge Mr. Pappas to come out and refute this… our capital has been checked by the biggest auditing firms in the world. Because our companies are listed (NYSE, NASDAQ) and because we cooperate with major companies, detailed audits take place,” Marinakis said.

Marinakis said after he assumed control of the debt-laden DOL (Lambrakis) media group, government officials again asked him for “favors,” to hire managers and editors with a “friendly” attitude towards the government and SYRIZA.

He mentioned rival football owner Ivan Savvidis, the Greek-Russian owner of PAOK Thessaloniki, who owns the marginal Open Beyond TV station and who had stepped in for a license when Kalogritsas withdrew.

“I never hide in any of the business I conduct. I can’t become like Savvidis…front-man… I’ve been patient all this time, but people must hear the truth,” said Marinakis, echoing charges by others that Savvidis acts in Tsipras’ interests.

Marinakis said judicial probes and trials won’t find he’s done anything wrong, saying that, “every Greek citizen understands that I am personally being targeted by the government, despite the fact that these charges against me have collapsed.”

He said he’ll take his case to the European Court of Human Rights against Tsipras, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, former justice minister Stavros Kontonis and Independent Greeks (ANEL) party Panos Kammenos, saying they slandered him.

“If this government lasts until October, we’ll have a conviction against a standing prime minister (by the ECHR) for the first time ever,” said Marinakis, a nod to coming national elections which must be held by October with the major rival New Democracy having a big lead over SYRIZA.

In an angry response, unnamed government sources charged that Marinakis is the “real leader” behind main opposition New Democracy, while calling his allegations “lies and mud-slinging,” the business newspaper Naftemporiki said.

Greece’s Supreme Court on April 17 ruled that Marinakis, along with another 27 individuals, should be indicted to stand trial for fixing football matches, ignoring a recommendation by Deputy Prosecutor Evangelos Zacharakis for the annulment of an indictment against Marinakis and the rest.

That would have meant that the 28 defendants would only be tried for the lesser charge of forming a criminal gang and not for tampering with the result of matches, which is a criminal-level offense. Marinakis also owns the Nottingham Forest soccer team in England’s Premier League.

Advance Bookings for Athens and Epidaurus Festival Tickets Starting on Tuesday

Early bookings for the Athens and Epidaurus Festival 2019 will start on Tuesday, April 23, it was announced on Friday.

Tickets for Epidaurus, Herod Atticus, Piraeus 260 and the other venues of the Festival will be available from noon on Tuesday and can be purchased by phone, electronically or at Public stores.

The telephone number for booking tickets is 210 8938112 (Monday to Sunday, from 09:00 to 21:00). Alternativey, they can be bought online at the websites greekfestival.gr and www.ticketmaster.gr.

The telephone number for group purchases of over 20 tickets is: 2103222720 and tickets@greekfestival.gr. Tickets for the disabled can be requested at the e-mail: tameia@greekfestival.gr

Greek Parliament Lifts Immunity from Prosecution for MPs Loverdos and Salmas

ATHENS – The parliament plenary on Friday decided to lift the immunity from prosecution of Democratic Alliance MP Andreas Loverdos and New Democracy (ND) MP Marios Salmas, at the request of the prosecutors investigating the Novartis and arthroscopies cases, respectively.

Both Loverdos and Salmas asked that the parliament vote to lift their immunity so that their cases will go before justice.
Of a total of 214 deputies present, 213 voted to lift immunity for Loverdos and 209 deputies for Salmas.

Tsipras: The Choice is Between “the Greece of the Elite, or the Greece of the Many’

Voters in Greece, like those in Europe, faced a clear dilemma, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Thursday, during a pre-election rally in the southern Greek city of Kalamata. In fact, he added, the choices in Greece were even more stark.

“[Main opposition New Democracy’s] programme now clearly reflects the harshest and most vindictive neoliberalism. The citizens will be called on to choose [between]: dismissals or staffing of the social state, tax immunity for the rich or an easing of the burdens on the many, a Pinochet-style pension system or a fair and sustainable public pension system, the collapse of wages and labour deregulation or an increase in wages and protection of labour, the ‘presents’ to the oligarchy or a strategic plan for growth and a new production model for the country,” Tsipras said.

“In other words, between the Greece of the elite or the Greece of the many,” he added.

“The answer on who will govern this country will be given by the people and only by the people, not the propaganda mongers of the oligarchy’s mainstream news,” Tsipras said, addressing the crowd.

He went on to accuse main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis of being “one of the most fervent supporters of the alignment with the far-right,” and “of the man that symbolises this plan,” which he identified as the European People’s Party (EPP) candidate for European Commission president Manfred Weber, who he said “had wanted to punish Greeks for rebelling and is now Mitsotakis’ closest friend.”

The Europe envisioned by Weber and the far right was not the only way forward, Tsipras said, noting that there was also the Europe of solidarity, shared responsibility, social rights and equality, the kind of Europe that took action to protect the environment and individual freedoms.

“The progressive Europe that is born through a joining of forces by all those that don’t accept a return to the dark days of nationalist strife and competition,” he added.

The prime minister also commented on the Novartis case and the reactions of those involved, noting that the crimes against the country, the collapse of pension funds and ruin of schools and hospitals could not be forgotten or statute-barred. “We cannot write off the political responsibility of those that brought Greece to the verge of bankruptcy,” he said.

‘A broad popular front.. the Progressive Alliance, is taking shape in every city’

Addressing enthusiastic crowds in Kalamata, the prime minister said that a broad popular front is now coming forward throughout Greece, which is “the Progressive Alliance that is taking shape in every city, every region, a majority and victorious tide that is creating a barricade against the rise of the far-right, and against all those who looted and put Greece in debt.”

The prime minister said that four years ago people in two consecutive national elections gave SYRIZA a mandate to start the difficult struggle of getting the country “out of the deep pit of the memorandums, to protect the many and to change Greece,” said Tsipras.
Tsipras said that the Greek people had unjustly paid for a crisis caused by the mistakes and omissions of the country’s elite over the past forty years.

‘We promised…to exit the memoranda with society still standing and we achieved that’

“We joined forces, we fought and we achieved our goal, Greece today is not the Greece of default, Greece today is no longer the Greece of the memoranda…Greece today is no longer the Greece of the IMF. In September 2015 we made a promise to the Greek people, to take the country out of the memoranda with society still standing, and we achieved that,” he said.

The prime minister also said that his government took on a country with four million people below the poverty line, 1.5 million people unemployed, and 65 billion euros worth of austerity measures, as this was “left behind by Samaras and Venizelos, who had the plan ready and who provocatively sided with the creditors,” he said.

Tsipras went on to outline the government’s work over the last four years, saying that the results are visible today.

He said that his government dealt with the overall crisis by putting more than three billion euros into welfare policies, and programmes dealing with the humanitarian crisis and policies to protect children.

Tsipras said that state hospitals were reinforced with some 18.000 staff along with the overhaul of the national health system, giving some 2.5 million uninsured citizens access to healthcare.

The provision of rent benefits for some 600.000 citizens and the legislation of home help for the weak and the sick were also among his top welfare achievements.

The government had also succeeded in providing support for state schools and education, providing extra staff and teachers and putting an end to the “shameful practice of photocopies instead of real books,” Tsipras said, as well as providing school services for children with special needs.

The restructuring of insurance funds led to some 600.000 pensioners seeing a raise since the start of 2019, while collective labour agreements were also brought back, while a hike in the minimum wage by 11 pct happened at the same time as scrapping the sub-minimum wage for the under 25-year olds.

Reducing unemployment by nine percentage points and creating some 350,000 new jobs was highlighted by Tsipras, who here added that after all this effort, the country returned to growth and saw record foreign direct investments.

Concluding his speech, Tsipras said that Greece “needs the young generation, those who will vote for the first time, the 18-year-olds, the 20-year olds, they have to realise that they have a powerful weapon in their hand,” said Tsipras referring to the power of voting.

Tsipras finally said that some people cannot accept that he became prime minister at the age of 40, and that some call him ironically a ‘squatter’ and a ‘high-school council president’, “but I trust the new generation, I trust its decisions, I trust the power of the people that insist on dreaming,” concluded the prime minister.