Greek PM: I am proud of the patience shown by the citizens during coronavirus restrictions

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The Greek Prime Minister has said he is proud of the Greek people for the patience they showed during the pandemic."Protection of human life and public health in the context of a pandemic - Effective response to a health crisis with full respect for human rights and the principles of democracy and the rule of law," said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

In a televised address to the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers on Friday, he said Greece was taking over the presidency of the Council of Europe's Committee of Ministers under the extraordinary circumstances imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Under these extraordinary circumstances, it is even more imperative to emphasise the fundamental principles and values ​​at the core of the Council of Europe's mission: Democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights," he continued.

"The European Convention on Human Rights provides for the possibility of temporary and legitimate limitations of its provisions in emergency situations, inter alia, for reasons of public health. However, the pandemic should not be a pretext for non-compliance with our commitment to fundamental principles and values," he added.

The Prime Minister referred to what happened in Greece and said that "we have managed to achieve a fair balance between the protection of human life and public health and the rights of citizens, using the art of persuasion" and said he was proud of the "Greek people and for the high degree of compliance of the citizens with the measures that have always been taken based on the advice of the experts."

Finally, the Prime Minister stated that the pandemic also offered opportunities, and pointed out that in Greece "we have succeeded in developing digital technologies with unprecedented speed. Procedures that would normally take months would be completed in three weeks," he said.

It should be noted that due to today's extraordinary circumstances, the Greek Presidency will operate mainly digitally, and will include the transmission of events and actions of the Council of Europe to all citizens through new technologies.

"This will bring the Council of Europe even closer to the people and, in particular, to the young. This will be especially important this November, when we will celebrate, at the Ministerial Conference in Athens, the 70th anniversary of a historic milestone: the signing of the European Convention on Human Rights in Rome on November 4, 1950," he said.

"The new generation will remain at the centre of our efforts as a key priority. Therefore, special attention will be paid to the protection of the right of the younger generations to enjoy the cultural heritage protected from the effects of climate change," he concluded.