K. Mitsotakis to representatives of retail and catering: Economy and society will not close again

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The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting today with representatives of the trade and catering institutions on the subject of the best cooperation for the implementation of the measures for the confrontation of the pandemic. “First of all, I would like to thank you for the responsibility that the focus and trade already show on the implementation of the new measures. I will say again that the economy and society will not close again. “In order for all this to happen at the same time, apart from the policing, cooperation obviously needs cooperation and it seems that with the main weapon of persuasion we are conquering it”, stressed Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the beginning of the meeting.

“I would say that from one point onwards we become our own health policemen and you the protectors of the health of your employees and customers. At the same time I believe that this is how you defend the reputation of your businesses, because it would be disastrous by negligence In any case, a small inconvenience that I accept that exists in your work can not be compared with the benefit that the observance of the sanitary measures offers in the market and in the country and of course it cannot be compared with the decision “Let us remain open and let the economic activities remain open all this time with the rules we have established”, said the Prime Minister.

“The difficulties in terms of the economy at least passed thanks to the 42 billion of resources that were mobilized in total at all levels”, pointed out Kyriakos Mitsotakis. “The big difference from the other waves is that we now have the vaccine. And that is why the proportions of hospitalizations and losses – although unfortunately many – do not correspond to the cases and concern the vast majority of our unvaccinated fellow citizens,” he added. and listed three keys that will open the exit door:
– the vaccination of those who have not yet been persuaded to be vaccinated,
– the third dose, the booster dose for those who have already been vaccinated
– and daily hygiene measures.

Referring to the encouraging data of the last few days regarding vaccinations, the Prime Minister said: “I want to emphasize that the policy we adopted last week seems to be working. We had 140,000 new appointments, first installments and almost 200,000 third dose appointments. What does this mean? That there is no hard divide between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, there are still many of our fellow citizens who have not been vaccinated for various reasons which I can understand and share, but who are willing to be persuaded and even now to take the vaccine. decision to be vaccinated “.

During the meeting it was emphasized that traders, businessmen and employees in the field of catering and government are partners, since the goal is common and dealing with the pandemic helps to increase the turnover of businesses. Market participants stressed that the goal is to keep the mess open while the Prime Minister was categorical during the meeting, in order for the professionals to do their planning, that “we will not close”. It was also noted that the professionals contributed to the audits and that the first implementation of the measures took place without tensions. The representatives of the institutions also raised individual issues concerning the specific sectors.

The introductory position of the Prime Minister in detail:

“Today we are launching a new round of contacts with the people of the market so that the State and citizens can coordinate our steps to get out of the pandemic. I will say again that the economy and society will not shut down again. Vaccinated people will not be deprived of their freedoms and those who have not yet been vaccinated will have to be protected. it seems that with the main weapon of persuasion we conquer it.

I think we all accept that in every store or in every cafe there can not be an inspector, no matter how excellent the work of the Greek Police and the National Transparency Authority, therefore the matter of public health passes into our hands. I would say that from one point onwards we become our own health policemen and you the protectors of the health of your employees and customers. At the same time, I believe that this is how you are defending the reputation of your businesses, because it would be disastrous for them to be stigmatized by a negligence as outbreaks of coronavirus transmission. And that is why the general measures that are in force throughout Europe, which are not really different from each other and the upheaval that we are experiencing, this fourth wave is common and the ways of defense are also common.

I am willing and that is why I provoked today’s discussion with the co-responsible Ministers, to hear your suggestions on how we can make the daily life of this period more functional. In any case, however, a small inconvenience that I accept that exists in your work can not be compared with the benefit that the observance of the sanitary measures offers to the market and in the country and of course it cannot be compared with our decision to remain open and to keep the economic activities open all this time with the rules we have established.

I think you are also well aware of the government’s interest in business. We have been in this room many times in the last two years and we have discussed them. Let me remind you that the difficulties in the economy at least passed thanks to the 42 billion of resources that were mobilized in total at all levels. Coverage of work suspensions, extension of debt repayment with repayable advance, preferential financing, business rents. We have discussed them many times. It is, of course, a support that continues as the relief from tax and insurance burdens continues with reductions in rates and employer contributions. It is, therefore, important that the market in turn responds to the needs of society but also to the development needs of entrepreneurship itself. As I have said many times, the end of the pandemic is not a simple matter. We have an outbreak of the fourth wave across Europe. I saw indications from Austria, a country that has about the same population as us and slightly higher rates of vaccinations, 9000 cases, corresponding pressure on the Health System and it is clear that in our country will follow a few more difficult weeks.

But the big difference from the other waves is that we now have the vaccine. And this is the reason that proportionally the hospitalizations and the losses -although unfortunately many- do not correspond to the cases and concern the vast majority of our unvaccinated fellow citizens. There are therefore three keys that will open the exit door: the vaccination of those who have not yet been persuaded to be vaccinated, the third dose, the booster dose for those who have already been vaccinated and of course the daily hygiene measures. Because we now know that vaccination protects against easy infection, but it mainly protects against serious disease, as the Minister of Development was the first to establish. The boost dose, so important, does not allow cracks to develop in the immune wall we have already built and of course the mask, the distances, prevent the transmission of the virus. The many tests that are done, more with the measures that we have imposed, allow us to have a very good epidemiological picture of the pandemic and to limit those who are mainly asymptomatic as early as possible so as not to infect other fellow citizens.

I want to emphasize that the policy we have adopted over the last week seems to be working. I have the total data over here for vaccination numbers. Last week alone we had 140,000 new appointments, first installments and almost 200,000 third installments. What does this mean; That there is no hard division between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. There are still many of our fellow citizens who have not been vaccinated for various reasons that I can understand and share, but who are willing to be convinced and even now to make the decision to be vaccinated. Realizing on the one hand that this is a need on the other that their daily life becomes more difficult. There is a greater inconvenience and financial cost if they choose to remain unvaccinated.

Consequently there is no room for the slightest complacency. The road is one, the road of responsible action, of the understanding of the society, of the understanding of all the professional groups. Only then will we be effective. That is why I want to hear your thoughts on how our cooperation will become more productive as in the past. I am sure that trade and catering will meet the demands of the times, which are also demanded for the progress of entrepreneurship in the country as a whole. I think the overall picture we have is confirmed empirically, but it is also confirmed by the data itself that the growth of 2021 is very healthy. I am sure that you also see this in your turnover and this gives us some more endurance to promote another difficulty like the one we are facing now “.

Also present were the President of KEEE, Giannis Chatzitheodosiou, the President of EVEA, Giannis Bratakos, the President of POESE, George Kavvathas, the President of ESEE, George Karanikas, the President of SELPE, Antonis Makris and the Governor of EA .

From the governmental side, the Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, the Minister of Citizen Protection, Takis Theodorikakos, the Minister of State, George Gerapetritis, the Minister of State, responsible for the coordination of the Government, Mr. , in charge of Anti-Crime Policy, Lefteris Oikonomou, the Deputy Minister under the Prime Minister and Government Spokesman, Giannis Oikonomou and the Director of the Press Office of the Prime Minister, Dimitris Tsiodras.

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Source From: Capital

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