Haris Theocharis expressed to CNN his optimism that there will be an agreement on the vaccination certificate between the member states of the European Union. He also referred to the expectations of Greek Tourism for this year, but also to the necessary conditions for the opening of the industry.
Regarding vaccination certificates, Haris Theocharis pointed out that “more and more countries are realizing that the vaccination certificate is the means of returning to freedom of movement.
The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in a letter sent on Friday to the prime ministers of the member states, assures that she supports the idea of certificates “.
In an interview with CNN, the Minister of Tourism commented on the negative attitude of some countries to the Greek proposal for a vaccination certificate as follows: “Sometimes some leading voices are needed. When the Greek Prime Minister pointed out the need for the vaccination certificate, we saw that there was a negative reaction from some quarters, even from the United Kingdom. But within a few days or weeks everyone turned around and realized that this was the only way forward. Therefore, there is hope. We can work together and make decisions together. I think this is good for both the tourism industry and the citizens. ”
In relation to the tourist season of 2021, Mr. Theocharis stated that, in his estimation, “the outcome will be positive”. However, the minister stressed that “demand will increase as long as two conditions are met: the first is that vaccination programs must proceed. In every country, as these programs progress, the population feels safer and begins to think about the holidays. The second condition is the clarity regarding the internal restrictions that will apply in Greece but also in each country “.
Asked by journalist Richard Quest about the results for the Greek economy published in the last few days, which report a recession of 8.2% (lower than the initial forecast of 10%), Haris Theocharis stressed that “a forecast based on real facts is that there will not be a large number of Greek companies that will close. This year we expect to be better than last year. “In 2020 we managed to open safely, as we managed the situation better than many other countries.”
Finally, the reference of the Minister of Tourism to the strategy that will be adopted during this year’s opening of Greek tourism is typical: “Last September and while tourism was active, in Crete we achieved a lower R index by 2/3 compared to the rest of the country. Therefore, we have shown that tourism and COVID-19 can coexist. In Greece we can safely manage the epidemiological situation while keeping the borders open. We will do the same this year. ”
Watch Theocharis’ interview on CNN: