M Mitsotakis: 'Greece's impetus for reforms never stalled during the pandemic'

M Mitsotakis: 'Greece's impetus for reforms never stalled during the pandemic'

Greece's impetus for reforms never stalled during the pandemic, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the third and final day of the "Europe 2021" online conference on Thursday.

The digital event was organized by German newspapers Der Tagesspiegel, Die Zeit and Handelsblatt and by weekly business magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Regarding the optimal use of the 32 billion euros allocated to Greece from EU's Recovery Fund, the Greek Premier noted that "we intend to use 19 billion for subsidies and 13 billion for loans, to boost the transformation of Greece's economy."

There are four priorities as far as utilizing Greece's share of the EU Recovery Fund, said Mitsotakis: "A green transition, digital transformation, an emphasis on private investments, as well as a great emphasis on qualifications, skills, education and training."

The premier also spoke of the opportunity the coronavirus pandemic provided to offer a range of digital services to citizens while "revamping the Greek state's infrastructure via a digital transformation."

He also spoke of his proposal to the EU for a digital coronavirus vaccination certificate, which he said would facilitate tourism. "This does not comprise permission to travel, of course," but will prevent repeated testing of passengers travelling between EU countries, he noted.

Concerning the recent delays in the distribution of vaccines in the European Union, "we have to be one step ahead of developments, and keep our eye on the new vaccines that are coming."

Discussions also involved pandemic management policies, rebooting the tourism industry, green growth and Greece-Turkey relations.

On the latter, he said that "there are two options - we hope for a constructive relationship, but if things do not move in the right direction, there must be consequences for Turkey from the EU." Mitsotakis also welcomed the improved climate with the start of Greece-Turkey exploratory talks, but said "I want to see consistency in this attitude, by Turkey."

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