ATHENS – Greece was two weeks ahead of most European countries in decisive action to fight the coming Covid-19 pandemic, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday, in a key address at a teleconference by the Athens office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Addressing an audience of 500 leaders as a guest speaker, the Greek premier spoke of the unpopular decision early in March to cancel the Patras carnival, the iconic annual event before Easter, and of the simultaneous challenges faced by the aggression of Turkey, which encouraged refugees and migrants to break through the borders at Evros into Greece.
He also spoke of the daily briefings to the public by the health experts, the seven televised messages he delivered explaining the government's plans to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effects of the pandemic on Greece's key industry of tourism.
"If things go according to our plans, we will open on July 1, under a protocol that will make sense both to those who want to travel and to our tourism industry," Mitsotakis said of the restart of tourism. "We want a greater slice from a much smaller pie – the European pie," he stressed.
He also expressed his belief that the proper handling of the coronavirus pandemic would lead to economic revival faster. "The better you do in managing the health crisis, the faster the economy will revive," he said.
Among other things, he said the investments program would continue to plan and he also called for greater efforts to face climate change.
The teleconference was introduced by BCG Chief Executive Officer Rich Lesser and other officials. BCG Athens partners Vassilis Antoniades and Chryssos Kavounides noted in their introduction the speed of reforms by the government in extroversion, technological upgrading and the trust of the public in institutions.