Turkey and Greece stated they are ready to resume exploratory talks to address their contested maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean, the Turkish presidency said, after a call between the leaders of Turkey, Germany and the European Union on Tuesday.
In a videoconference between President Tayyip Erdogan, Chancellor Angela Merkel and EU Council President Charles Michel, Erdogan said the “partial momentum” secured by establishing dialogue should be maintained with reciprocal steps, the Turkish presidency said.
Greece confirmed 453 new coronavirus cases on Monday, of which 195 are linked to known clusters (184 at the new Kara Tepe refugee camp, Lesvos) and 25 were located at country entry points, said the National Public Health Organization (EODY).
Briefing reporters on Monday, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said the authorities were determined to take “whichever measures are necessary to protect public health.”
“We have never hesitated in imposing localized lockdowns, from March until now, in many parts of the country,” he said, adding that “Attica is no exception.”
The biggest concern is about central Athens, where numerous instances of overcrowding are being reported. In the coming days, Deputy Civil Protection Minister Nikos Hardalias is to meet with officials from City Hall to discuss possible new restrictions (Madrid city style restrictions) such as the earlier closure of street kiosks and convenience stores in neighborhoods where spikes in infections have been reported.
The idea is to make it harder for people to buy alcohol and gather in city squares once bars and restaurants close at midnight. There are also plans to boost the policing of squares in the center to prevent overcrowding. A special mobile app will soon be available, giving citizens information about the particular restrictions that apply in their area.
Moreover a pre-recorded message will be broadcast by speakerphones on police vehicles informing people of limitations in effect.
There are concerns about a rise in patients in intensive care units. Seventy-nine people are currently intubated but Petsas said that more beds would be made available to deal with any increase.
A meeting with the participation of the health ministry’s expert on the novel coronavirus, Prof. Sotiris Tsiodras, and the Secretary-General for Civil Protection Vasilis Papageorgiou was underway on Tuesday at Karyes, the capital of the monastic community of Mount Athos, to discuss ways to contain the spread of Covid-19 on the Athos peninsula.
At least 10 cases of Covid-19 have been discovered in recent days in two monasteries and a hermitage on the peninsula, while one monk has been admitted to a Thessaloniki hospital in a serious condition.
In a circular sent to all appeals and first-instance court prosecutors on Tuesday, Supreme Court Prosecutor Vassilis Pliotas instructed them that members of the anti-mask movement, even if they acted exclusively online, can be arrested and immediately led to trial, since they are committing the offence of inciting others to insubordination.
Based on the Greek penal code, this carries a penalty of up to one year’s imprisonment or a fine.
The Greek economy can endure a possible second lockdown, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said on Tuesday. He reaffirmed that the expected economic growth forecasted for next year will not fully cover this year’s losses.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Tuesday promised the flood-stricken households and businesses of Karditsa that the government will stand at their side with “speed and determination”, in statements as he departed from Mouzaki, the municipality at the centre of the storm.
“We announced immediate measures and are monitoring all the developments. I want the people of the region to know, the entrepreneurs, the farmers, that the government will stand at their side with speed and determination and do whatever is needed so that these people can stand on their feet again,” he said.
He promised swift compensation for farmers and financial support for businesses, especially those in the centre of Karditsa, to get them going again.
The prime minister had earlier announced the compensation, with “very fast procedures,” of those affected by the Medicane Ianos, during his visit to the city of Karditsa and his meeting with local bodies and organisations at the city hall.
And the weather forecast…
Cloudy in Attica tomorrow with the temperature expected to reach a maximum of 29 degrees Celsius.