Gov’t spokesman: All hands are needed on deck to overcome the crisis

Surviving the economic crisis following the global Covid-19 pandemic requires the offer of help by all sides, Government Spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Sunday, not just the state.

In an interview to Skai TV, Petsas said, “The state, employees or employers cannot stand alone, each by themselves. The government has assumed a large portion of the wage costs for businesses that will be hit by a steep reduction in turnover – not for all of them, but only for those whose turnover drops by more than 20 pct.” But businesses being aided by the Syn-Ergasia program may not lay off staff or change the terms of employment. “Therefore, they will retain the human resources and production network of the economy in place, in order to benefit all of us through a faster recovery,” he added.
He said that the indicators point to the reopening of the primary schools on June 1, a decision to be announced this coming week, as this will benefit the children themselves in particular. “Children cannot stay out of school for six months,” he stressed.

In terms of restaurants and eateries in general, reopening on Monday with outdoor seating only, the spokesman said the original date to reopen them was mid-June, “but the epidemiological data is such that it allows us to reopen them three weeks earlier.” He called on owners to keep to the restrictive
and health measures, which include social distancing among tables.

He also spoke of a new relationship of trust forged with the public, and noted that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis “does not stay shut in his office at Maximos Mansion, he walks around in society and has begun, after the lifting of restrictions, to visit various sites.” Petsas also rejected claims of snap elections, asserting that Mitsotakis “is not interested in snap elections – they will not happen before the government’s four-year term is up.”