Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis received 15 high school students at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, on the occasion of the 45th anniversary of the restoration of democracy following the dictatorship.
During the course of the meeting, historian Maria Efthymiou gave a brief review of Greek democracy.
"What we must remember, and I in particular every day I enter this office, is that I am a temporary resident here," Mitsotakis said according to government sources. "I'm here at this office to serve the Greek people for as long as the Greek people choose to - this is the beauty of democracy."
Governments must also retain "a sense of impermanence as well as the importance of time," he said. "We must use every day that passes to the full so we may realise our plan and implement our program. Part of democratic accountability, let me remind you, is to be elected after having presented to citizens a specific program, which you are then obliged to implement," he added.
The students asked questions and raised issues related to freedom of speech, democratic rights, problems Greece faces like bureaucracy and brain drain, and the implementation of antismoking law.
The state "must always take care of the weakest" and "establish the obligation of protecting human life and people's properties as a non-negotiable obligation," he added, speaking a day after the one-year commemoration of the devastating fires in Attica.
When asked by a student from a special education school how he plans to staff such schools, the Prime Minister said the government will implement an initiative of the previous government, pushing forward the examination leading to the hiring of 4,500 special education teachers. "The quality of a democracy is judged by whether a state can take care of those who have greater or different needs," he said.