Despite the good management of the health crisis, Greece is not at the end of its troubles, economic crisis and Turkish provocations are its daily life.
As confirmed by our guest, Alexia Kefalas, journalist in Athens, Greece, by the government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, very quickly took the right measures against the Covid-19, and for a population of 10.72 million inhabitants, only 2,874 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed with, as of May 22, 169 deaths. It must be said that the crisis, which affected Greece in 2008, has strongly affected the Greek hospital sector. After successive budget cuts, his budget was cut in half, the situation being untenable, and the Greeks are aware of it.
After Covid-19, Greece, like many countries, will be hit by a new economic crisis, feared by the population. And the nightmare of the decade of economic crisis, budget cut after budget cut, memorandum after memorandum, these so-called “rescue plans” are present in Greek minds.
Today, the Greeks fear this new crisis, all activity has stopped in Greece for three months, and the country is in the process of collapsing. European Commission and IMF forecasts forecast a 10% recession for Greece, one of the most affected European countries, a figure much higher than that existing during the peak of the 2011 Greek crisis. And the Greeks fear that tourism is impacted.
Tourism represents 20% of Greek GDP, the second behind the merchant marine. Revenue in 2019 was 18 billion euros with 34 million tourists, three times the population of Greece. Today, 150 economic sectors are concerned, 1 active out of 5, and if Greek tourism is the backbone of the country, it has dropped by 80%.
Next June 15, the Greek borders will be open, the wearing of a mask will be compulsory throughout the territory, social distancing and hydroalcoholic gel available; for the beaches, it will be necessary to count with 40 people on 1000m², a distance of 4 meters between the parasols, and disinfection of the deckchairs with each passage of a customer.
As for maritime transport, the ferries will welcome 55% of passengers, one seat out of two will be condemned, and the cabins fully disinfected at each port. However, there is nothing to say that Europeans or others will choose to leave their country for the next summer vacation. But Greece with so many measures is not at the end of these penalties, because it has to face the repeated provocations of Turkey.
The Turkish question is a much more serious crisis, whether in the air or at sea, where Turkey violates these two Greek spaces on a daily basis. The balance of power is great for the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is facing a very serious economic crisis in his country, not to mention the Covid-19 crisis of which we know very little, except the figures of the worldometers.info reporting 154,500 cases of Covid-19, 4,276 deaths as of May 22, for a population of 84 million, figures still to be taken with some deductions.
And the last action of the Turkish president was the threat to open its borders to the 4 million refugees in Turkey towards Europe, but here the European Union was at the sides of Greece, and Erdogan n ‘ was able to implement its new plan, while in northern Greece on the Turkish border, the Greek army and police have constantly provoked the Greek forces, resulting in very frequent clashes.
And it is to be feared that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will not stop there, and that he will continue his provocations towards Greece, which has just taken over the chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers Council of Europe, from May to November 2020 .
At the head of this chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states including Turkey, Greece will be able to put on the table his priorities for his chairmanship which counts, among other things, the fundamental principles and values which are at the heart of the Council of Europe’s mission.
Thus will arise the question of the migrants who number 40,000, piling up in insanitary conditions in islands, facing Turkey, and that European countries, even today, let Greece and Italy manage with this human drama, which very often the countries of northern Europe do not want to hear about, since they are countries of southern Europe whose news they tend to disdain. Hopefully a woman from southern Europe, the Croatian Marija Pejčinović Burić, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe will be able to hear and listen to Greece through the voice of Panayiotis Beglitis, the permanent representative of Greece to the Council from Europe.
Recall that Greece has been a member of the Council of Europe since August 9, 1949, three months after its creation on May 5, 1949, a historic member. Finally, the Greek Presidency is determined to fight for the protection of human life and public health, the Covid-19 crisis being a spur, hence the Greek wish for effective management of a health crisis, with full respect for human rights and the principles of democracy and the rule of law.