The government's primary concern after the protection of public health is the protection of employment, jobs, and businesses from the oncoming global recession, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday during opening remarks to a cabinet meeting held via teleconference.
"We all know that we will face a global, very deep recession and Greece cannot be an exception to this rule. However, we have developed a safety net for protection - mainly for employment, for businesses. And this will continue to be our primary concern, as the economy and the market slowly begin to find their pace," said the prime minister, who announced that the Greek parliament will remain open all summer.
Mitsotakis expressed hope that this would the last cabinet meeting held via video conference while noting that "this will, of course, largely depend on the overall success of the implementation of the plan for the gradual transition to the next phase, which was announced yesterday."
The prime minister said the period up to July 31 will be one of intense legislative work, and that the parliament, which is returning to normal legislative operation, will not close during the summer, adding that the government's plan is to pass 26 bills by the end of July.
"One is already being debated in Parliament, while the consultation for seven draft bills has already been completed and they have been discussed in cabinet. A significant number will be discussed today and a great deal of discipline will be needed so that we can adhere to this planning, to actively prove that the pace of government reforms, far from slowing down, is actually accelerating," he said.
Mitsotakis praised the cooperation among MPs, which led to the successful "response to an extremely complex crisis, not only in health, but also economically and socially." This, as he said, had "required great cooperation and mobilisation" so that all forces could be ready to move on to the next phase, once the original goal has been achieved, which was to drastically reduce the extent of the pandemic and strengthen the National Health System.
He noted that the time of legislating through Acts of Legislative Content was coming to an end, which he said was self-evident, adding that "Acts have been ratified by Parliament with great speed, unusually great speed compared to the past. Parliament never stopped working during the crisis, it simply adapted to the suggestions of the experts."
Mitsotakis also stressed that it was even more important to make the necessary changes now "so that we can allow the recovery - when it comes - to be a dynamic recovery. To cover as soon as possible the lost ground caused by the pandemic crisis and to finally emerge victorious, financially, from this very great crisis."
Finally, the prime minister pointed out the speed with which the state has coped with the needs that have arisen and noted that "this concept should be made a rule, not just an exception. We need to be able to implement actions, whether they are legislative or executive actions, much faster than we have done so far. "