President says lockdown necessary to stop virus spread but temporary


In a prerecorded message, Greece’s new president Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Tuesday evening that the lockdown is a necessary measure due to the unprecedented crisis and public health risk posed by Covid-19.

Speaking on the eve of the March 25 independence day, she stressed that the suspension of rights and freedoms and limits on social behavior are due to the extraordinary risks to public health and social cohesion, and that they have an expiry date.

"I am sure that the vast majority of citizens understand the necessity of measures. And it will adhere to them, however painful they are, since they are the only way to deal with the pandemic," she said. 

She also praised the consensus among the country’s political forces amid the crisis.

On Wednesday, Sakellaropoulou is to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to deposit a wreath in honor of Independence Day.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Parliament Speaker Kostas Tasoulas are also expected to attend while the leaders of opposition parties have also been invited. It will be the first time the anniversary is marked with such sparse attendance.

Earlier on Tuesday, Sakellaropoulou spoke with the president of the "Greece 2021" committee on the bicentennial of the declaration of the Greek War of Independence (1821), Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki.