In an interview with CNN on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the measures his government has taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus appear to be working and thanked the Greek people for their cooperation.
The PM stressed that the trend of coronavirus cases in Greece is “relatively encouraging” compared to other European countries, attributing it to the fact that strict social distancing measures were taken at an early stage.
Citizens, Mitsotakis added, respected the lockdown measures and stayed home with few exceptions.
When asked how he runs the country during the lockdown, he stated that the pandemic has been an opportunity for the government to embrace digital technologies, noting that his administration has made strides in this area and they manage through teleconferencing.
As for the resilience of the Greek state’s infrastructure, he was positive. “Our healthcare system is coping relatively well,” he said, noting that this was despite the fact that, “it was battered after 10 years of austerity so we were painfully aware of the fact that we were at bigger risk compared to other EU countries.”
Referring to the illegal immigrants, Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated that it is his duty to protect the borders and will not let Turkey blackmail the country on this issue. He also stressed that those who are not entitled to international protection should return to Turkey or their countries of origin.
He also assured that there have been no coronavirus cases at the overcrowded migrant camps, despite fears of an outbreak. The PM added that Greece still lacks the support to effectively respond to the continuing challenge posed by migration flows. “Greece is dealing with this problem basically on its own,” he said.