As the lockdown was extended for another week Friday, government spokesman Christos Tarantilis announced that Parliament will next Friday serve as the stage where the government and main opposition SYRIZA will cross swords regarding the management of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will request a debate at the level of political leaders, next Friday, January 15, so that each party can submit its proposals openly and not behind closed doors,” he said in response to the proposals by SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras after his meeting Friday with Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou, during which he made a series of proposals regarding vaccinations and testing procedures, while questioning Greece’s performance on a European level.
Tarantilis pushed back, saying Tsipras is “not well informed” and that his proposals move contrary to what has been agreed to at the European Union level. He also urged the SYRIZA leader to support the platform for free testing (testing.gov.gr), which provides this possibility at 386 points throughout the country.
Meanwhile, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias announced the extension of the existing lockdown for another week, with the sole exception of elementary and special schools, which open on Monday. This means that retail trade, bookstores and beauty salons will remain closed until January 18, while church services will be held without worshippers. The ban on hunting and fishing is also being extended, while the curfew is still in force at 9 p.m.
Also Friday, Mitsotakis announced that daily vaccinations are increasing from 5,000 to 8,000. This number, he said, will gradually reach 20,000 on January 20 and 30,000 in February. He stressed that the vaccination program “is proceeding at a satisfactory pace, methodically, safely, transparently and, most importantly, without mistakes so far.”