x

Politics

Skertsos to BBC: Greece Feels Ready for the Start of the Tourist Season

ATHENS — Greece feels ready for the start of the tourist season, Deputy Minister to the Prime Minister Akis Skertsos said in two interviews with the BBC (to World News and Newsday), while he also fielded questions about the National Recovery and Resilience Plan 'Greece 2.0'.

He pointed to the very successful management of tourist flows in 2020, which had helped keep Covid cases to a minimum over the summer, noting that this system would now be further boosted by the ongoing vaccination programme that was making rapid progress.

"We believe that by the end of June, almost 50 pct of the adult population of the country will be vaccinated, in which case we will have built a significant wall of immunity and will be able to receive tourists from Britain and the rest of Europe," he said.

Asked about the validity of vaccination certificates supplied by visitors, Skertsos said that there was an agreement with Greece's European partners for a "green vaccination card" system, which will indicate whether the holder has been genuinely vaccinated. Otherwise, visitors must have a negative test result attached to their PLF form, which they must complete before visiting Greece.

He said the EU's green certificate could also be a forerunner to an international anti-Covid certificate, while for non-EU visitors, such as those from Britain, he said they must attach a vaccination certificate or negative test to their PLF form a short time before arrival.

On the 'Greece 2.0' plan, he said that Greece was the second country after Portugal to submit its plan and had worked closely with its European partners in its preparation. He described it as an ambitious plan that aimed to transform the country, its economy and society, through 175 significant investments that will make it greener, more digital, fairer, more open, productive and innovative. It was named "Greece 2.0" because "we consider it can help create a better version of our country," he added.

Skertsos said that the plan had been widely praised and was extremely detailed and well worked out, based on the proposals of Nobel laureate economist Christopher Pissarides and his team, running to 4,000 pages. It included specific EU recommendations on how to make Greece's economy more productive and sustainable and to tackle long-running problems of previous years, he added.

Having learned from the 10-year economic crisis, Skertsos said, Greece was now setting in motion its own plan of reforms that had Greek "ownership" and knew exactly what needed to change, with the Bank of Greece estimating that this funding can lead to a 7 pct jump in GDP and 200,000 new jobs in the next five to six years.

RELATED

ATHENS - With six of 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets arriving in Greece, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at a ceremony welcoming them that they are a deterrence against Turkey, which repeatedly sends fighters into Greek air space.

Top Stories

Church

BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.

Church

NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.

Events

STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.

Video

SNF’s Health Initiative Will Support Child and Adolescent Mental Health

ATHENS - When we think about childhood injuries, we usually think of scratches, a few stitches, maybe even a broken bone.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.