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Coronavirus Pandemic – PM Mitsotakis: We "open" when the cases subside, limit when there is a resurgence

"I am glad that the European Commission has heeded the urgings of many heads of state and government and is now negotiating harder, more decisively, more strictly, with major vaccine companies. These companies must understand that to the extent that European money has been used to research the production of these vaccines, they must honor the contracts they have signed with the European Union. ", stated the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his introductory position at today's meeting of the Council of Ministers………..

The Prime Minister added that the EU is "too much power to not be able to exert the necessary influence or even pressure on large companies to be consistent with the delivery schedule to which they were committed".

Referring to epidemiological developments, Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted that the government's response to a possible deterioration of the situation "will always be dynamic". "We are on constant alert to intervene when needed. In other words, it is not politics "seeing and doing", it is just the opposite: we see so we know exactly what we are doing ", stressed the Prime Minister.

"We start activities when the cases subside, we limit them when they re-ignite. We maintain the necessary balances between the needs of public health and the national economy, deciding each week according to the data ", explained Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The Prime Minister stressed that Greece makes the most of the vaccine doses it receives, without waste, and proceeds with the vaccination campaign based on the strategy it has devised, as to date there have been more than 221.000 vaccinations. "The first installment is being completed for the health workers, in nursing homes, to those above 85 years, the second dose cycle begins, now our fellow citizens are vaccinated in the age category from 80 until 84 years, however, the inhabitants of the small islands are also vaccinated horizontally. Yesterday the action started in Kastelorizo, with responsibility, the supervision and support of the Ministry of National Defense, there in our small islands we will vaccinate all the inhabitants who want and want to be vaccinated ", said Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

"Let me say it again that all the vaccines that come to our country, so much will be done. In fact, Greece and Canada are among the countries that today have to show a very positive statistic and this is none other than the fact that we have minimal total vaccine losses. ", he stressed.

Referring to the issues of the Economy and yesterday's issue of a 10-year bond, The Prime Minister underlined that this is an "extremely successful exit of our country in the international markets". "It simply came to our notice then 3,5 billions of euros at the lowest interest rate any government bond has ever had. Just above 0,8%. It is a proof of the international trust towards Greece but also its policy ", added.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis clarified that the money will be allocated based on the needs of the citizens and always with justice. "It is an amount that will be added to what the state is already spending to support employees and businesses., something that as we have said will continue throughout the pandemic. Caution, Nevertheless, this money will be allocated. They will not be spent. They will be distributed bravely but not recklessly. Mostly with justice. What you need, to whom it should, when and as it should ".

He also stressed two ND pre-election commitments that are being implemented despite the difficult economic situation: the reduction of insurance contributions and the suspension of the solidarity contribution for the self-employed, the private sector and the self-employed.

Regarding the issues of the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister mentioned:

- In changing the way of electing municipal and regional authorities, Pointing out that this is "an explicit pre-election commitment of ours that puts an end to anarchy in the organs of self-government. From his local elections 2023 the governors and mayors will serve again for five years with a guaranteed majority in the municipal and regional councils. They will be elected from the first Sunday if they collect a percentage 43% of votes.and their combination will occupy the 3/5 of the seats of the board.

- In the bill of the Ministry of Development for the medical cannabis products that set rules favoring exports of Greek production.

- In the new framework for the training of prospective drivers, it is modernized by allowing the learning of the young children of those who want to become drivers from the age of 17 years instead of 18 currently in force.

- In the bill of the Ministry of Culture and Sports, which brings significant changes, arrangements that harmonize the data here based on the holistic study we requested from UEFA and FIFA, arrangements that restructure categories of professional football as well as fan clubs and effectively reinstate the professional sports committee to serve its true role.

*The entire introductory position of the Prime Minister *

Good day ladies and gentlemen,

This is the first meeting of the Council of Ministers on 2021, which is now regularly convened at the end of each month, but it is also the first with its new composition, That's why I want to welcome new members. Today we have to look 10 bills from six different Ministries. Central protection, however, remains the protection of the citizen's health from the pandemic and of course the support of the economy and the world of work. And of course the progress of vaccinations, which will bring the final way out of this great adventure. All these, of course, simultaneously with our actions on the foreign and defense policy and reform fronts.

About the pandemic, I would like to make two remarks. First, that despite problems with deliveries throughout Europe, in Greece have been vaccinated more than 220.000 our fellow, actually 221.206 according to the last information I had just before we enter the Council of Ministers and there are scheduled appointments for more than 700.000 our fellow.

The first dose is completed in the health department, in nursing homes, to those above 85 years, the second dose cycle begins, now our fellow citizens are vaccinated in the age category from 80 until 84 years, However, the inhabitants of the small islands are also vaccinated horizontally. Yesterday the action started in Kastelorizo, with responsibility, the supervision and support of the Ministry of National Defense, there in our small islands we will vaccinate all the inhabitants who wish to be vaccinated.

Let me say it again that all the vaccines that come to our country, so much will be done. And in fact Greece and Canada are among the countries that today have to show a very positive statistic and this is none other than the fact that we have minimal total vaccine losses.

I am glad that the European Commission has heeded the urgings of many Heads of State and Government and is now negotiating harder, more decisively, more strictly with large vaccine companies. These companies need to understand that to the extent that European money has been used to research the production of these vaccines, they must honor the contracts they have signed with the European Union.. The European Union is too strong to be able to exert the necessary influence or pressure on large companies to be consistent with the delivery schedule to which they were committed..

Second remark on coronavirus. It concerns our defense against the third wave which continues to besiege the planet with its mutations- fortunately he has not yet come to our homeland- I will repeat that our response to this possibility will always be dynamic. We open activities when the cases subside, we limit them when they re-ignite. We maintain the necessary balances between the needs of public health and the national economy, deciding each week according to the data. And we are on constant alert to intervene when needed.

Is not, namely, politics seeing and doing, it is just the opposite. We watch, so we know exactly what we are doing. We will then have the opportunity to inform Marios Themistokleous, the Secretary General of Primary Health, about the progress that has been made on the vaccination front., so that you have at the level of the Council of Ministers the most detailed information possible on how this extremely complex exercise is progressing.

With,what about now the beginning of the new year in economic life, I want to note yesterday's extremely successful exit of our country in the international markets that still brought 3,5 billions of euros at the lowest interest rate any government bond has ever had. Just above 0,8%. It is a proof of the international trust towards Greece, but also its policy. It is an amount that will be added to what the state already spends to support employees and businesses, something that as we have said will continue throughout the pandemic.

Caution, Nevertheless, this money will be allocated. They will not be spent. They will be distributed bravely, but not recklessly. Mostly with justice. What you need, to whom it should, when and as it should be. On this front, after all, two more of our commitments have been implemented. It is already valid - and I would like you to remind it in your public speech- the reduction of insurance contributions and the suspension of the solidarity contribution for the self-employed, the private sector and the self-employed.

The de-escalation of contributions means an annual benefit 460 euros for a salary 1.016 euro. With the profit obviously increasing as wages increase. While the abolition of the solidarity contribution for an employee with the same salary will bring him tax relief still 50 per year, a higher paid me 2.500 euros will benefit by more than 1.000 per year.

From the agenda of today's agenda let me propose the reform of the way of electing municipal and regional authorities. An explicit pre-election commitment of ours that puts an end to anarchy in the organs of Local Government.

From the local elections, Well, of 2023 the governors and mayors will serve again for five years with a guaranteed majority in the municipal and regional councils. They will be elected from the first Sunday if they collect a percentage 43% of votes. And their combination will occupy them 3/5 of board seats.Only exception, the election from the first round with a percentage above it 60%, so obviously the seats will be distributed proportionally. And there is a limit to representation in the councils 3% as in parliamentary elections.

They are shrinking, also, the oversized boards. In Athens for example, councilors are limited by them 49 to 41, Attica regional councilors are reduced to 71 from the 101 where he was today. And the composition of municipal authorities from now on, will meet the size and special conditions of each area. I referred a little more extensively to the Municipalities, because they are the first major institutional reform of the year.

The agenda, Nevertheless, complement many initiatives such as those of the Ministry of Finance to conduct the forthcoming inventory, of the Ministry of Development for medicinal cannabis products, which set rules favoring exports of Greek production.

To highlight also the new framework for candidate driver education that is being modernized and allowing young children to start learning, those who want to become drivers, the age of 17 years instead of 18 currently in force.

I close with the bill of the Ministry of Culture and Sports - Sports in this case- brings significant changes, arrangements that harmonize the data here based on the holistic study we requested from UEFA and FIFA, arrangements that restructure categories of professional football, as well as the fan clubs and essentially reinstate the Professional Sports Committee to serve its real role.

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