NEWS

Greece to host EU hub for sanitary material

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Plans are afoot for the construction of a warehouse stocked with sanitary material that will serve needs across the European Union in a secret location in Attica.

The initiative is part of the European Commission’s plan to create stocks of medical supplies and vaccines in the face of a new wave of coronavirus in the EU.

Since April, two warehouses have already been created in Germany and Romania and Greek Civil Protection executives and Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias are aiming at the creation of another one in Attica.

The Greek proposal was submitted to Brussels in June and, according to the latest information, was accepted by the relevant bodies of the Commission. It envisages the supply of millions of FFP2 and FFP3 masks, protective body suits, gloves and other items of personal protection. The stocks will be stored in a 2,000-square meter facility with easy access to the Elefsina Air Base and Athens International Airport. The Civil Protection authority has already reached an agreement with suppliers so that, within 40 days of the signing of the final contract, they will have delivered 25% of the total agreed quantity. The remaining 75% must be delivered within 90 days of the signing of the final contract. The financing of the project will be fully covered by EU funds.

The creation of stocks of medical supplies as well as vaccines (when they become available) was decided by the European Commission in March in the wake of the inability of member-states to respond to the Italian request for assistance through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Following a proposal by Crisis Management Commissioner Janez Lenarcic, the EC decided in April to set up permanent stockpiles of material to deal with health crises.