Greek PM addresses nation on new measures as people live through ‘war conditions’



Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis made a televised address on Tuesday to reassure the nation of measures to reinforce the economy and businesses while containing the spread of the coronavirus, during what he described as something akin to war conditions.

Mitsotakis urged the public to self-isolate and not put a strain on the healthcare system by rushing to hospitals on the slightest symptom.

He then mentioned that 2,000 newly hired nursing staff were heading to their posts, while a total of 1,900 additional beds were added to the system, with the inclusion among others of NIMITS Hospital as a coronavirus treatment center and the newly built private Attica clinic.

"Our first priority is non-negotiable: saving lives," he stressed, which is the reason that Greece imposed, "far earlier than other European countries, measures unprecedented under a time of peace."

The government's efforts from the onset of the coronavirus focused on limiting the spread of the virus, strengthening the health system, and supporting the economy and the workers, Mitsotakis said, placing special emphasis on job retention.

The Prime Minister announced the allocation of 2 billion euros to assist businesses with reduced turnover, while the state - not the businesses - will assume the cost of part of workers' wages in affected sectors." Moreover, all tax and insurance obligations will be suspended, he said.

"We want to save jobs. And I urge businesses not to make redundancies. Because there will be measures that will stimulate liquidity and allow them to withstand this adversity."