In her first statements as Greece’s new President, Katerina Sakellaropoulou called on citizens to follow instructions issued by the country’s health authorities to the letter to prevent the further transmission of the new coronavirus which has claimed one victim.
“We are called upon to tackle the coronavirus pandemic as a priority,” she said in brief statements before the cameras at the Presidential Mansion, where she was welcomed by former president Prokopis Pavlopoulos.
“It requires full compliance with the instructions and full implementation of the precautionary measures to prevent further transmission of the virus,” she continued, adding that Covid-19 presents a “real risk for the elderly.”
Sakellaropoulou also commented on the continued tension at the Greek-Turkish border where thousands of migrants, spurred on by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who announced last week that the borders are open, have gathered hoping to cross into Europe.
“Our country is called upon to face new challenges. Repel new dangers and threats. Without stopping the struggle for economic and social reconstruction. With no discounts in democracy and the rule of law,” she said.
"We must safeguard our borders while fulfilling our humanitarian duty to people who are suffering…It is a difficult but not impossible equation,” she added.
She also expressed hope that the elections of the first female woman as President of the Republic “will improve the position of women in the family and society, so that women stop facing obstacles simply for being born women.”
Sakkelaropoulou, a former Council of State judge, secured an overwhelming majority in a vote in the Greek Parliament on January 22.