The issue of the super-contagious strain of the coronavirus Delta (Indian) was central during a press conference held by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the end of the EU summit in Brussels.
Following criticism that Greece received from Germany (with the assistance of France) for the leniency of entry, which it has accepted for those arriving from non-European countries where the new mutation is rapidly spreading, Mr. Mitsotakis noted: “The expert assessment is that by the end of August this mutation will become dominant throughout Europe. ” He added: “My personal assessment, which I think is shared by most members of the Council of Europe, is that there is no need to impose additional travel restrictions from countries where this mutation already exists, and its variance is more pronounced. There is an answer to the question about mutations, and in particular about Delta mutationsand it is to speed up the vaccination process. ” “Exaggerations”
Mr Mitsotakis described as “journalistic exaggeration” reports of criticism by Merkel and Macron of Greece regarding the adoption of the Sputnik vaccine, although he admitted that there was a statement to that effect. At the same time, the Prime Minister insisted that “in no case is there a majority in the Council of Europe that could introduce additional restrictions, taking into account the summer, to combat the Delta mutation, neither in third countries, nor, even more so, within the union.
With regard to Turkey, Mr. Mitsotakis said the findings “fully satisfy the position of Greece.” Regarding cooperation with Ankara on refugee issues, he stressed his support for his intervention in the Council under “two basic conditions”: non-instrumentalization of the issue for political reasons and a manifestation of goodwill on the part of Turkey, including consent to the deportation of 1,450 immigrants whose applications were finally rejected.
Mr Mitsotakis added that it was the persistence of him and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi that led to stronger conclusions regarding Libya. As a result, “The Council is unambiguously stating that elections should be held on December 24th. The results must be accepted by all.” In addition, the EU demands that “all foreign forces and mercenaries leave Libya without delay.”
Finally, regarding the payment of the first € 4 billion (13% pre-financing) of resources that Greece will receive from the Recovery Fund. Greece will receive them “in late August-early September.” It is noted that officials of the commission quite recently talked about payments until the end of July.