THESSALONIKI – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis drew attention to the fact that although Greece reduced Covid-19 infections to a minimum, as he said, the risks still loom large, in an interview to Star TV on Monday evening at his office.
As Greece is moving ahead with a "reasonable relaxation of restrictive measures," he stressed that "we must all take into account the fact that the health experts' basic advice – personal hygiene, wearing face masks where necessary and social distancing – are here to stay."
Speaking about the reopening of primary schools on June 1 (which had shut down with all schools on March 16), he said it was a necessary step, as "six months, from March to September is a very long time for primary school children to be away from school." The younger children will be the last to return to school, following the lead of graduating high school students on May 11 and grades 7-11 on May 18.
On ordering a nationwide home quarantine as of March 23, Mitsotakis admitted he had hesitated to give the final approval for it. However, on retrospect, he noted, "if the lockdown had taken place two weeks later, we would have mourned far more casualties." He added that there is acknowledgment that "it was in the end worth it, as several lives were saved."
With the difficult part of the pandemic outbreak left behind, he thanked all Greeks for following the experts' advice diligently, and for changing their attitudes and their lives. "We could not have had this national success, had we not worked together, all of us – this is an important legacy for Greece," the prime minister noted.
In addition, Mitsotakis said, the Greek people recovered their sense of confidence in the government. "It's the first time we have not heard the phrase 'Where is the state?'. The state was here, and occassionally astonished people with its speedy response and effectiveness, as it did, for example, in its digital transition."