Source: Republic of Greece – Foreign Affairs
In a video conference today with the EU member-state Ambassadors to Greece, Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis pointed to the success of the Greek response to the coronavirus and to the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the economy and Greek tourism.
Mr. Varvitsiotis briefed the Ambassadors on the government’s new announcements on the lifting of restrictions on movement and the timeframe for return to normalcy, underscoring that the measures taken protected the lives of Greek citizens. He noted, however, that there will be significant repercussions for the economy as well as for tourism, which accounts for about 25% of Greek GDP. The Greek government’s goal, he said, is to gradually reopen the economy and society.
On the European level, the Alternate Minister highlighted that the European Union needs to send a strong message of confidence to its citizens and of credibility to the markets, with emphasis on the recovery of member-state economies. Regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework, he stressed that we need to look at the possibility of a prior commitment on the highest level, through front-loaded revision of the EU budget. “This is Europe’s moment. At a time when there is a global leadership deficit, Europe, as a global player, must step up, showing practical solidarity and respect for democratic principles and values,” he said.
Finally, Mr. Varvitsiotis briefed the EU Ambassadors on the priorities of the upcoming Greek Presidency of the Council of Europe (15 May-18 November 2020), whose main focus will be the protection of human rights and public health in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.