"The basic rights and the rule of law were not called into question" in Greece despite the coronavirus pandemic," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an online discussion on Wednesday involving Harvard University professor of government Daniel Ziblatt and Greek academics, "and this is very important."
The event was organized by the Cultural Association of Northern Greece Businesspeople, on the occasion of the bicentennial of the Greek Revolution (1821).
Mitsotakis said, "We kept our constitutional tradition in every way, we protected and guaranteed this heritage exactly, despite the extraordinary measures we were called upon to take during unique conditions - measures that were absolutely necessary and which will naturally be revoked once we stop being in a state of emergency."
He added that it was "the first time Greeks feel that the state can deal with situations, in a way that is individualized and digitized."
Commenting on main opposition SYRIZA, he said that its rule was an experience of "the rise and collapse of a populist party, and we have returned to the path of prosperity." Syriza's motto "Either we put an end to them or they put an end to us" shows that ruling New Democracy is not a target for its ideas or policies but for its existence, he said, while he also expressed the hope that the party leaves its bad practices behind and engages in parliamentary dialogue.
The discussion was attended by former deputy premier Evangelos Venizelos from the University of Thessaloniki, the rector of Panteion University Christina Koulouri, and Elaine Papoulias, executive director of Harvard's Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. New Democracy MP and Panteion professor Dimitris Kairidis moderated the discussion and the introductory statements were delivered by the Cultural Association's president, Stavros Andreadis.