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Mitsotakis: Greece is no longer the ‘black sheep’ of Europe

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Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said in an interview on Sunday that Greece is no longer the ‘black sheep’ of Europe, having shown discipline and resilience in its handling of the coronavirus outbreak.

Speaking to Kathimerini newspaper, Mitsotakis stressed that he was certain his move to impose restrictions early to contain coronavirus was right, despite the impact on a Greek economy that only emerged from its international bailouts in 2018.

“There are some mornings when I wake up and ask myself, ‘Was it necessary?’ We were headed for a very good year financially in 2020 and I honestly believed that we had put the crisis behind us,” Mitsotakis said.

“What is consoling, however, is that we are no longer a special case. We are not a black sheep… We are united in dealing with the pandemic and have demonstrated great fortitude and adaptability – something that has been, perhaps, surprising to many.”

Mitsotakis and Kathimerini reporter, Alexis Papachelas, sit down from their interview. Source: Kathimerini.

Mitsotakis then stated that he expects the deep recession this year to be followed by strong growth in 2021.

READ MORE: Greece successfully raises 2 billion euros from 7-year state bond.

“I believe that we will make a quick recovery. I know we will have a deep recession in 2020. But, provided that science gives us the answers we are waiting for, the recovery in 2021 will be greater than the 2020 recession,” the Greek Prime Minister stressed.

“We have matured and we are rebuilding something that was absent, not just during the crisis but throughout this country’s recent history: trust.

“Trust in the institutions and the state, and not just in the government. Trust in the people who have been assigned the power to protect us, to keep us safe and healthy.”

To stay afloat, Greece had signed up to three international bailouts in 2010-2015, when it teetered on the brink of a eurozone exit. Since then, its economy has been gradually emerging from crisis mode.

READ MORE: Greek Finance Minister: Expect a recession of up to 10 percent due to tourism losses.

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