GREECE: Moderate optimism for a drop in cases

The evolution of the pandemic "remains uncertain due to the many asymptomatic carriers and the dynamics of the virus"

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Government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou described the drop in coronavirus cases, which has been observed in recent days in Greece, as a development that causes moderate optimism, during today's briefing of political authors.

However, Oikonomou noted that the evolution of the pandemic "remains uncertain due to the many asymptomatic carriers and the dynamics of the virus." "At the same time, there is a significant movement of young cases to older ages. And that is why the next few days are judged by the experts as particularly decisive ", he added.

As he explained, the simultaneous presence of Omicron and Delta mutations maintains the increased pressure in the NSS, however he noted that "while the spread of Omicron in the community is over 80%, half of the hospitalizations come from the Delta mutation, which causes heavier disease and puts more pressure on ICUs ".

Referring to the start of imposing fines on citizens over 60 who have not been vaccinated, Mr. Economou noted that "the law will be implemented in full."

"It is important that 90%, nine out of ten of our fellow citizens over the age of 60, have now been vaccinated. "Nearly half of those who remained unvaccinated when the obligation was announced made - in the meantime - the choice to be vaccinated," he said, calling on those still reluctant to be vaccinated "not only to escape the fine, but mainly to shield themselves against the disease." ».

He also defended the government's decision to open schools, arguing that data from the first week of post-holiday education showed that "the school environment is safer for students and their social circle". "[A] it turns out that the implementation of these protocols protects not only the educational community, but also society in general," he said.

Regarding the measures to support citizens, businesses and workers in the face of the effects of the pandemic and the energy crisis, Mr. Economou said that the Greek government is determined to provide practical support to the people affected, exhausting all possibilities.

In this context, he referred to the three additional measures of the Greek government which concern: First, the extension of temporary suspensions of employees with special purpose compensation to additional sectors, by delimiting a percentage of the employed staff that can be suspended. Secondly, the implementation of a special program to support companies that are significantly affected and thirdly, the suspension of payment of the January 2022 installment of regulated debts to the tax administration of companies that are significantly affected, as well as employees whose employment contract is temporarily suspended.

At the same time, as Mr. Economou clarified, the provision of support to households and businesses will continue as long as the crisis in the global energy market lasts.

Finally, when asked about the possibility of holding new exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey, Mr. Economou noted that the search for dialogue with Turkey is a firm position of Greece. However, attributing the escalation of tension in Turkey, the Government Spokesman said that "our country with firm positions based on international law is ready to discuss specific issues, within a specific framework."