In his weekly review of the government’s work through a post on Facebook on Sunday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis started off by thanking the EMAK rescue workers operating in earthquake-devastated regions of Türkiye, under very difficult conditions, and how they moved and filled all Greece with pride after successfully pulling out five people – three children, a young woman and a 50-year-old man – from the rubble.
“They filled us with pride but also obviously sorrow at the extent of the disaster. We often say ‘biblical disaster’ but this is the only way to describe the size of what we are seeing,” he said.
Mitsotakis said that Greece had done the self-evident, as it had done in 1999 and as it will always do. “We sped from the first moment to put the capabilities of the Greek state at the disposal of the authorities of the neighbouring country. As I said to President Erdogan, in this time of need and anguish we are here for any help they need. We may have political differences but the people of Greece and Türkiye are friends. And this is proved by the wave of support exhibited throughout the country,” he added.
At this point, the prime minister noted that “natural disasters will always remind us of the responsibility of the organised state toward the citizens. The responsibility to shore up our infrastructure and to invest in our facilities and the people of civil protection. We have done this since day one. Allow me to give just one indicative example: when we took over, the General Secretariat for Civil Protection operated only during public-sector office hours – from Monday to Friday between 7:00 and 15:00. It now operates on a 24-hour basis in a new, ultra-modern building, using technology so that information is sent immediately and there is an immediate response.”
A swift response had to be backed up by preventive actions, he added, “but also learning from your mistakes.”
The prime minister referred to the new early warning system for farmers, enabling them to protect their crops against icy weather, and digital applications that greatly improve the daily life of citizens, such as the digital patient file and the MyHealthApp whose services were constantly expanding.
“This means that each citizen but also every doctor treating them has access to their entire medical history with one click, so as to make the best possible diagnosis. It is a project that, combined with other digital upgrade projects and the connection of our hospitals and health centres, we hope will have changed the face of the National Health System and the experience of the citizens for the better by 2027,” Mitsotakis said.
The prime minister also touched on other steps in the past week, such as the introduction of workplace creches, improvements to the Pasteur Institute, the new legislation concerning career and salary issues for Armed Forces’ officers and the amendment designed to bar criminal organisations from participating in the elections in the guise of political parties.
Mitsotakis concluded by welcoming the return of a part of the Pepsi production line to Greece and the start of production of a well-known Carlsberg product in a Greek plant.
“We had become used to hearing news of production units leaving Greece…we have fought hard to reverse this trend. So that businesses do not leave but return. So that Greece becomes an attractive destination for investments,” he added.