Petsas: The Possibility of a Lockdown in Greece Is Not Ruled Out

September 22, 2020

ATHENS — "There is concern on two levels. On the one hand, there is, for the first time in several months, a pressure on the health system, with all that that means for ICUs. On the other hand, the number of cases, despite the measures taken recently, remains relatively high. This combination makes experts think of many alternative measures we can take," government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said on Tuesday in an interview with the radio station "Thema 104.6 FM."

"Since the beginning of the pandemic we have not ruled out the possibility of taking whatever action is needed, even a local lockdown, in order to bring down the curve and reduce the pressure on the health system. What is important, above all, is the protection of public health and human life," he added, noting that there is a heavy epidemiological burden mainly in Attica and secondarily in Thessaloniki.

He pointed out that about half of the active cases in the country are in Attica. "Half of the cases in Attica are in the centre of Athens with a very large participation of people with a refugee/migrant profile. We are fighting a battle there, with messages in their languages, with more controls in the area, so that we can control the dispersion in time," he said.

Referring to the European Council meeting, the government spokesperson said that the sanctions against Turkey would be adopted by the Council, as already approved by the Foreign Affairs Council. "The question is whether and when they will be activated, if Turkey continues its delinquent and provocative behavior. We all hope that its recent step backwards is not merely a ruse," he said, adding that a message of weakness should not be given, but a strong message that these behaviors are not tolerated. "A clear message: Either sincere and active de-escalation or sanctions," he said.

Regarding the exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey, he said that the main issue is to see whether Turkey will agree, either today or after a few days, to the invitation to resume exploratory contacts.

"There is no concession and no room for other issues. The only problem we have is the delimitation of the maritime zones. If we do not find a solution, the way is open to go to The Hague, to end this decades-long pending issue. We have said at other times also that the era of hesitation is over," he added.


ATHENS - Updates on new facilities for migrants, a new platform for applying for asylum, and disappointing relocation options by other European Union countries were among the topics Migration & Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachi covered during a press conference on Monday.

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