This Evenings CNN interview with the Greek Prime Minister

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave an interview to CNN and journalist Christian Amanpour tonight, pointing out that in our country the tendency towards the development of the crisis with the coronavirus is encouraging compared to other European countries but reiterated that “our hard work”.

He stressed that they had taken the measures we had taken at a relatively early stage and that the cooperation was almost universal with the Greek citizens, who respected the directions and stayed home with very few exceptions.

Mr Mitsotakis said that we have 50 people who have died in Greece from covid-19 but the National Health System responds relatively well, although we must stress that we are talking about a health system that is coming out of a decade-long crisis. So he pointed out that we would probably have a bigger problem than other countries with a potentially overloaded health system. “It hasn’t happened. It won’t happen, “he stressed.

Asked by Mrs Amanpour, who underlined that statistics are good, on how the prime minister himself works, “from home, from office?”, Mr Mitsotakis replied: “I am in my office with a very small team with my close associates, we work together from our offices each and manage the country through teleconferences and use technology. ” He even pointed out that he was under the impression that “very quickly the Greek state was moving towards its digital future. We have implemented new platforms, new applications, people have moved more online at a much faster rate. ” As he said, “this crisis was a way for the Greek state to be able to embrace the digital age much faster.”

The Prime Minister then said that only one member of the Greek Parliament had been diagnosed with coronavirus, was now hospitalized and was out of the hospital, and this in general allows us to be fully operational.

Asked about the fact that there is competition for medicines in the United Europe, the prime minister admitted that “there is a global competition for respirators, equipment, ICU beds and each country is making its own effort”. However, it was mentioned in the European Commission’s attempt to set up a common procurement procedure but these procedures take some time. He stressed that there is “an asymmetry between supply and demand, which will at some point lead us to re-examine our supply chain and the ability to not depend on imports that may run out in times of crisis.”

He stressed, however, that “when in crisis it is clear that each Member State first cares for its citizens and Greece was no exception. “What we did successfully was to mobilize the private sector, the big institutions and we had a great response.” He publicly thanked those who offered and added that although the Greek is an individualistic society, this crisis seemed to show solidarity and its role in restoring confidence in the state and government after a decade of crisis.

The prime minister also emphasized that it was very important that we “give the experts a talk, we have a daily brief from the experts” with precision about what is happening and “it is a relief after a decade of populism that experts and not demonized technocrats talk lead us to the right political decisions. ”

Asked about the difference in approach from other leaders such as the Brazilian president, who does not believe in social distance, he shakes hands … “What would you say to him if you met him at a G20 conference,” asked Christian Amanpour.

“I hope Greece is a member of the G20 very soon, we haven’t done it yet. I would tell him that he is making a big mistake because this virus is spreading like a fire and there is only one way to stop it and that is social distance and telling people the truth. ” He said he does not know if the climate assumptions in Brazil are different but he has a great responsibility.

He also reiterated that it is all about protecting human lives despite the huge cost of taking action and stressed that “We do not want our health system to be flooded with patients and to choose who will have respirators and who will not, we do not want some tragic to lose their lives. ”

Regarding what is happening with the host structures on the islands where hygiene is not good anyway, the prime minister replied that “fortunately for the time being we have no cases in Lesvos. We have taken action at the beginning of the crisis and I want to believe that they will work. ” He stressed, however, that “in general for Migration I will say again that it is a problem for which we are making a clear effort to be addressed within the European Union as a European problem”. He criticized the Greek government for its handling of the issue, saying that “at the beginning of March we suspended asylum procedures for a month” and that “it is my duty to protect the Greek border and we have done this to we face the Turkish provocation. Greece and the European Union will not be blackmailed by Turkey. ” And he added that “conditions are not ideal but Greece is basically tackling this problem on its own” to the extent that it has become a first entry point to Europe’s borders while expressing optimism that if flows to the Aegean are reduced normalize the situation on the islands.

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