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Politics

PM Mitsotakis Meets with President Sakellaropoulou

ATHENS — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met on Wednesday with the President of the Hellenic Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou at the Presidential Mansion. The prime minister said that "despite the difficulties of the pandemic, I believe that the country conveyed an image of unity and confidence," during the celebration of March 25.

He added: "I think it was an opportunity to reflect on all that we have achieved over 200 years, to learn from our mistakes and to draft with confidence a path to the future. And this remark is connected with a very important announcement made by the government today, where for the first time we presented publicly and in detail the main axes of the National Recovery Plan, which is a result of the significant additional European funding provided by the country to deal with the coronavirus crisis."

Regarding the National Recovery Plan, the prime minister stressed: "Last July we made a very important decision at a European level, for Europe to borrow centrally in order to support European economies in overcoming the coronavirus crisis. Our intention is to use these resources to be able to achieve a drastic transformation of the Greek economy. And I believe that this plan, which will be discussed extensively with the other parties and will eventually take the form of a law to be passed by the Greek Parliament, will be an opportunity to agree on a series of bold policies that will largely determine the future of the country and will provide prospects and hope, especially to young people, who are also those who have been hit hardest today by the pandemic."

Concluding his first statement, Mitsotakis gave a short briefing on developments concerning the pandemic.

"We are being tested by the third wave, but the national health system is holding up and I would like to take this opportunity to thank doctors, health workers, nurses for the superhuman effort they continue to make, especially here in the hospitals of Attica. And, of course, I must tell you that we have gathered all the forces of the national health system, the military hospitals, the private sector under the leadership of the health ministry, so that we can cope with this crisis in an organised and coordinated way.

"We are waiting today for the [health experts committee's] recommendations, which will take into account the epidemiological data, which are not very encouraging, on the one hand, and the fact, on the other hand, that there is accumulated fatigue among the people and that the measures are not being fully complied with – something which is happening in all European countries – and we will act accordingly, after listening to the experts as we always do."

The prime minister added that "if there is any encouraging news, it is the fact that in the last few days we have seen some stabilisation of admissions and discharges at hospitals in Attica".

On her part, President Sakellaropoulou said that it was generally accepted that Greece celebrated the 200th anniversary of the 1821 Revolution in a way that befits this historic anniversary.

"With responsibility towards our history, with deep emotion for the struggles of our ancestors, with the participation of our allies who contributed to our independence and with respect for the restrictions imposed by the pandemic," Sakellaropoulou noted.

She also said that, unfortunately, Greece must also continue to live in the restrictive environment imposed by the pandemic on the entire planet.

"I fully understand the fatigue and anguish of the citizens. I see that both the experts and the government are looking for ways out of this suffocating environment. Unfortunately, there are no easy solutions and recipes. Despite the small breaths of freedom that can be given, it is obvious that the path to normalcy will not be simple or easy. But it is necessary to win the bet of reorganising the economy and opening up to tourism.

Especially on the issue of reorganising the economy, I believe that the Recovery Fund will contribute both to the relief of those most affected and to the very important long-term issue of the productive reconstruction of the country. On the issue of restrictions, I also consider very important the need for children and young people to return to their schools, it is their natural place and they have endured this burden for so long," she stressed.

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