Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reckoned on Monday that Greece could return to “some normalcy” at the end of spring or the beginning of summer if the vaccination program remains on track.
Speaking during the online session of the World Economic Forum, Mitsotakis said the supply of vaccines from the European Union will be pivotal, noting that it must be expedited.
At the same time, however, he praised the EU agreements with the big pharmaceutical companies as a “success story.”
“The EU decision to buy vaccines centrally and distribute them according to the population of its member-states is an act of solidarity,” he said.
Referring to the way Greece has dealt with the two waves of the pandemic, he said that “we have learned that we need to listen to experts and scientists and make decisions early.”
He insisted Greece managed the first wave very well but was forced to close the economy with the second wave last November, at a significant cost.
Meanwhile, the crowds over the weekend in the main shopping districts of Athens and Thessaloniki has raised renewed concern among health experts and the government alike, and the next days are seen as decisive given that a third wave of the pandemic is always at the gates.
With the economy having reached breaking point during the second lockdown, Mitsotakis stressed the need for the market to work. The decision, he said, to reopen retail was necessary for the economy to function, as it had been surviving all this time with state “injections.”
“We follow the basic rules and we are moderately optimistic,” he concluded.
For time being at least the market is seen to be operating very satisfactorily, while cases are still under control.
Authorities on Monday reported 436 new coronavirus infections, pushing the total number of cases to 152,412. Of these new cases, 20 were reported at the country’s entry points. Another 25 people died, raising total fatalities to 5,671, while the number of intubated patients stood at 286.