“April may determine what the future will look like,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday during a discussion in Parliament in Athens on new legislative measures to contain the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
“Everything that has been done so far has brought reservedly optimistic results,” he said, warning that the country needs to stay the course.
“The effort must continue with the same vigor and maturity. April is the most crucial month and if we relax, we will pay for it,” Mitsotakis said.
On the economic measures being taken to support wage earners and businesses hit by the epidemic, the prime minister said the government’s main priority is to “safeguard jobs and fair, horizonal social welfare.”
Opposition SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras called for an economic rescue plan that will protect jobs and the salaries of low-wage earners, while also providing support for businesses via direct subsidies.
He also expressed concerns about the impact of measures to restrict citizens’ movements. “We have a duty to safeguard the public’s health and to prevent the spread of the virus, but we also have a duty to protect democratic functions,” he said.
Movement for Change leader Fofi Gennimata presented a proposal from her center-left party for a “frontline response” strategy that would consists of specialized teams of doctors and healthcare workers conducting widespread testing door-to-door, while also providing consultations and basic care for patients who test positive for the virus.