"The government is deeply saddened by the lives lost due to the Mediterranean hurricane that hit parts of the country. The government also wants to thank the staff of the civil protection service, fire brigade and police force, who, with self-sacrifice, rescued many of our fellow human beings," government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Monday during the daily press briefing.
He also thanked those who worked under adverse conditions to provide assistance to the victims of the hurricane and restore the functioning of basic infrastructure. Following the instructions issued by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, he added, the government is taking immediate action to compensate affected households and businesses in the areas where a state of emergency was declared.
Regarding the developments on the health crisis front, the government spokesman stressed: "It is obvious that a second wave of the pandemic is underway all over the world. Our country is still in a much better epidemiological state than many others. However, there has been a significant increase in cases lately."
Petsas underlined "we have taken and will take whatever measures are needed to protect public health."
Turning to national issues, Petsas explained that "throughout the previous period, the government proceeded with composure and determination, while the prime minister summed up our position in the phrase 'provocations stop, talks begin'."
"The withdrawal of the Oruc Reis and Turkish warships from the Greek continental shelf was a positive signal. And Ankara expressed its intention to return to exploratory contacts. In any case, Turkish provocations – which, after all, do not only concern Greece – will be raised at the forthcoming European Council. And alongside the desire of all member-states for cooperation and progress in Euro-Turkish relations, there is a clear framework of sanctions on the table."
He concluded by pointing out that "it is up to Turkey which path to follow: sincere and active de-escalation, or sanctions."
Petsas said that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will go to hurricane-stricken Karditsa on Tuesday. In meetings with local agencies, the damage will be assessed and the measures and the restoration plan will be examined.
On Thursday, the prime minister will travel to Brussels for the Special European Council on September 24-25, 2020.