Tarantilis: We Continue to Play Defence and in Parallel We Plan Our Counterattack

January 11, 2021

ATHENS — The government continues to play defence and at the same time it is planning its counter attack based on the national vaccination plan "Eleftheria", governmnent spokesman Christos Tarantilis said during a press briefing on Monday.

He said that the epidemiological condition has improved in comparison with early December 2020 and there is a decline of the active COVID-19 cases as well as less pressure on the Health System.

The committee of scientists will meet every Friday in order to make its recommendations and afterwards Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias will announce the governments decisions for the next period.

Referring to the opening of schools he said: "You are aware that, after the committee of epidemiologists assent, the primary schools, the kindergartens and the special education schools opened on Monday morning throughout the country". All protection and prevention measures are in effect such as the mandatory use of face masks indoors and outdoors, the use of antiseptics, the meticulous cleaning and others.

Furthermore, referring to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis' schedule, he said that currently the Prime Minister is visiting Lisbon for deliberations with his Portuguese counterpart Antonio Costa. Mitsotakis will meet with Costa at 14:25 and a joint press conference will follow.

On the vaccinations and the appointment procedure, Tarantilis said that: "The appointment platform for citizens will be presented on Monday at the briefing on the national vaccination plan and its operation will start immediately for our compatriots over 85 years-old.

The speed of the vaccinations depend on the quantity of vaccines that arrive in Greece. In January and according to the EU's agreement with the companies Pfizer and Moderna, Greece will receive 212,312 vaccines and this quantity will substantially increase in the following period. It is widely known that Greece has safeguarded, in EU context, its share of vaccines which can cover approximately 15 million citizens," Tarantilis said.

Tarantilis also referred to the governmnent's legislation work underlining that "the bill on the extension of the territorial waters to the west has been tabled in parliament and will be discussed at the relevant parliament's committee on Tuesday. An decision of historic importance is implemented as Greece extends in the specific area its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles, an extension of its territory, the first time since 1947. It is also very important that in article 1, paragraph 2, of the bill is clearly stated that Greece reserves the right to make use of the respective rights in other areas of its territory as these are provided by the UN Treaty of 10 December 1982 on the Law of the Sea.

Finally, he said that "the draft law on the approval of the acquisition of 18 (12 used and 6 new) French fighter jets Rafale will be tabled in parliament on Monday and will be put to vote within the week. He said that the first six aircraft will arrive in Greece six months after the signing of the agreement.


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