Greece sparked a scandal with Cyprus after a minister and vice president of the ruling New Democracy Party said the cheap PCR tests used in Cyprus were “Chinese” and “very low reliability.”
Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis has tried to challenge the use of expensive PCR tests used in Greece. According to his usual habit, he, without hesitation, made claims to the brotherly country when he was asked why the PCR tests in Cyprus are half the price of those in Greece.
Georgiadis’s statements sparked the outrage of Cypriot politicians, who forced the talkative Greek minister to withdraw his original statement. He reiterated that he never made such a statement, although everyone listened to his speech on state-run ERT Radio on Wednesday and was then commented on multiple times on social media.
Georgiadis reportedly said to justify the price cap to € 47 from 60 from January 6:
“Yesterday [министр здравоохранения Греции] Pleuris spoke with his Cypriot counterpart, and the price they gave us was 20-50 euros. In Cyprus, a company offers a price of 20 euros, and as our doctors and the Greek Medical Association stated at our meeting, they brought us documents stating that they [тесты ПЦР] have very low reliability, Chinese, and are not like those sold here. “
Να ξεκαθαρίσουμε, αντιπρόεδρε, ότι αυτό που είπες ήταν «χθες μίλησε ο κ. Πλεύρης με τον Υπουργό Υγείας της Κύπρου και η τιμή που μας έδωσαν είναι 20 € -50 €.
– Varemaras (@ Varemaras1) January 6, 2022
His claim about “low-reliability Chinese” PCR tests received widespread coverage in the media in Cyprus as well as in international media such as euractiv.com, who noted, among other things, that Georgiadis’s announcement of PCR tests in Cyprus had angered several Cypriot politicians, who urged the Greek minister to withdraw his “offensive” statement.
The first to react was the General Auditor of Cyprus, Odysseas Mikhailides, who said that constant competition in open tenders had lowered prices for PCR tests in Cyprus, hinting that this did not happen in Greece (I wonder why?).
Cyprus Health Minister Michalis Hadjipandela said that all consumables used in Cyprus for testing for COVID-19 meet the most stringent standards set by the ECDC, are licensed in Europe and used in most European countries.
“Cyprus is one of the leading countries in terms of managing health crises as synergies and collaborations have been achieved between the public and private sectors to provide the necessary resources and expertise to ensure that citizens have reliable molecular control of COVID-19 disease,” added he.
The Greek minister was forced to backtrack by issuing a statement saying he had never questioned the reliability of Cypriot PCR tests.
“Let’s be clear: PCRs in Cyprus are reliable,” Georgiadis tweeted on Thursday. “I never once mentioned the quality of laboratory tests in Cyprus, which is confirmed by the successful overcoming of the pandemic.”
Να το ξεκαθαρίσουμε: Τα PCR στην Κύπρο είναι αξιόπιστα. Ουδέποτε έκανα αναφορά στην ποιότητα των εργαστηριακών ελέγχων της ?? που αποδεικνύεται από την επιτυχή αντιμετώπιση της πανδημίας. Στην ?? το πλαφόν του PCR είναι στα € 50 αλλά οι συνθήκες της αγοράς είναι διαφορετικές.
– Άδωνις Γεωργιάδης (@AdonisGeorgiadi) January 6, 2022
He noted that the maximum price for a PCR test in Cyprus is 50 euros, but “the conditions in the Greek market are different.”
The minister clarified the statement made on Wednesday on the ERT radio program regarding the cheaper PCR tests available in Cyprus. There, PCR tests start at 20 euros instead of maximum price of 47 eurosset for tests in Greece (the other day), Greek state news agency noted amna.
According to a survey conducted by EURACTIV, The issue of PCR tests in Greece has sparked a heated political debate, as it seems that Greeks are the only EU citizens who, in practice, are obliged to pay for molecular tests. While in other countries EU citizens who show symptoms of COVID or get a doctor’s prescription can take a PCR test for free, in Greece, citizens have to pay, notes euractive, all the more much more expensive than in other countries.
PS It is worth noting that, in addition to the problems with the overpriced, recently the laboratories performing testing have significantly reduced the processing speed of tests, which, on average, increased the time for issuing results to 36 hours from the previous 7 hours, which is an unacceptable value.
Austria PCR test free of charge – minimum salary € 1583 Germany PCR test free of charge – minimum salary € 1755 Denmark PCR test free of charge – minimum salary 3270 € Greece PCR test € 47 free – minimum salary € 663