Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took a walk through Athens’ popular shopping strip Ermou on Thursday, in order to talk to shopkeepers and citizens after the lifting of the restrictive measures in the commercial “hub” of Athens.
The Prime Minister talked to shop owners, listened to their concerns and asked about business. Many workers thanked Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the effective management of the health crisis and at the same time conveyed the financial difficulties their businesses faced due to the effects of the pandemic.
“It is becoming a little busier, as people are starting to move again, it will increase,” he said.
Responding to the concerns of citizens regarding the prospects of tourism, Kyriakos Mitsotakis pointed out that “we will find a way for people to come safely”. “I estimate that from the end of June we will see a different story,” he added.
The Greek PM expressed particular interest in the implementation of health protection measures. He talked to security guards at the entrance of several stores, asked about the maximum number of customers depending on the area of each space and noted the observance of distances in the cash registers.
On Thursday, Mitsotakis also participated in a teleconference by the Athens office of the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).
Addressing an audience of 500 leaders as a guest speaker, the Greek PM spoke of the unpopular decision early in March to cancel the Patras carnival, the iconic annual event before Easter, and of the simultaneous challenges faced by the aggression of Turkey, which encouraged refugees and migrants to break through the borders at Evros into Greece.
He also spoke of the daily briefings to the public by the health experts, the seven televised messages he delivered explaining the government’s plans to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, and the effects of the pandemic on Greece’s key industry of tourism.
“If things go according to our plans, we will open on July 1, under a protocol that will make sense both to those who want to travel and to our tourism industry,” Mitsotakis said of the restart of tourism. “We want a greater slice from a much smaller pie – the European pie,” he stressed.
He also expressed his belief that the proper handling of the coronavirus pandemic would lead to economic revival faster. “The better you do in managing the health crisis, the faster the economy will revive,” he said.
Among other things, he said the investments program would continue to plan and he also called for greater efforts to face climate change.