Government seeking to expedite return to normal

Government seeking to expedite return to normal

Given that the economy needs to bounce back sooner rather than later, the government is reportedly giving serious consideration to the possibility of opening the tourism and transport sectors earlier than originally envisaged.

In an interview with CNN this week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the tourism industry would begin on July 1. But in order for this to occur a number of issues need to be addressed, such as the removal of the travel bans to the islands for Greek citizens – and even earlier for those who have businesses there. 

And these plans can only go ahead as long as the coronavirus remains contained, and if the government manages to strike a balance between reviving the economy and protecting public health.

According to sources, a decision on the tourism and transport sectors will be made after May 15, when the epidemiological results of the first easing of lockdown measures will be available.

For now, the only sure thing is the lifting of restrictions on the mainland on May 18, which will probably be accompanied by the resumption of flights to destinations on mainland Greece. 

This would be followed, according to Mitsotakis, by the opening of restaurants and cafes on June 1. 

In a cabinet video conference on Tuesday he stressed that “if we continue to move as we have done in the last month in terms of the pandemic, the opening of restaurants on June 1 is something absolutely achievable.”

During the same video conference, which was also attended by the governor of the Bank of Greece and bank executives, Mitsotakis also discussed how banks can infuse liquidity into the Greek economy and how the new European financial instruments can be best utilized to increase liquidity.

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