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Stelios Petsas

Greek government spokesman, Stelios Petsas, referred to the companies that are reopening today, during today’s press briefing. “As of today, June 29, the children’s camps, cinemas, canteens in theaters and cinemas, casinos, cable cars, cultural associations and the unions are reopening,” Petsas said.

“Conferences, trade fairs, concerts and art events are also allowed,” he added.

The final step towards a return to “normalcy” will take place on Wednesday, Mr Petsas said, referring to the opening of all airports for flights from abroad.

Citing a foreign publication, he said that Greece was experiencing the largest increase in the number of airline ticket bookings in the world.

“It is very positive that Greece, as a destination, is showing the largest increase in the world in airline ticket bookings, according to international reports such as the Financial Times. Also in Kos, a strategic agreement will be signed tomorrow for the support of Greek Tourism between the Minister of Tourism, Haris Theocharis and the leaders of the TUI Group. This is a very important agreement that shows that TUI, one of our most important strategic partners, gives priority to our country as a European destination and strengthens the effort to recover Greek Tourism after the unprecedented crisis that tourism has suffered worldwide,” he said.

Meanwhile, Petsas called on opposition leader Alexis Tsipras to leave the “lads”, regarding the urging of the SYRIZA leader to include him into investigations of pharmaceutical company Novartis Hellas.

Novartis Hellas will pay a $225 million criminal penalty for bribing doctors, hospitals and clinics to prescribe the company’s drugs. The US Department of Justice also found that from 2012 to 2015 Novartis Hellas conspired to bribe employees of state-owned hospitals and clinics in Greece to buy more Novartis-branded drugs including Lucentis, which treats a form of age-related vision loss, Kathimerini reported.

Novartis said “the resolutions contain no allegations relating to any bribery of Greek politicians, which is consistent with what Novartis found in its own internal investigation.”

“As for Mr. Tsipras’ urging to expand the indictment of the Parliamentary Pre-Investigation Committee in order to include him, let him put aside his youthfulness. His silence extends the ‘political indictment’ to the citizens’ consciences,” Petsas said, citing a decision by the US Securities and Exchange Commission on the Novartis case.

“First of all, it is proven in practice that the SYRIZA government was not interested in the real scandal, did not proceed with its documentation and did nothing to compensate the State. Instead, it has resorted to a shameful attempt to tarnish its political opponents without any evidence,” he said.

“Secondly, [Prime Minister] Kyriakos Mitsotakis is fully justified, who – from 2018, speaking in Parliament – underlined the existence of a scandal and accused the then government of deliberately turning in the wrong direction and being inactive in terms of the real scandal,” Petsas continued.

“Today, after the criminal inaction of the SYRIZA governments, the government is mobilizing the state mechanism and the Legal Council of the State, in order to take advantage of every suitable way of compensation of the Greek State,” he added.

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