Greece’s current struggle is one of keeping Greece strong and Greeks healthy, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in his Greek Independence Day message.

Linking the struggle for independence from the Ottoman Turks that began in 1821 to the coronavirus pandemic restrictions that cancelled all parades, the premier said, «Our struggle today is exactly to keep Greece strong and Greeks healthy. The pandemic will cost us, but it will leave us victorious, more mature, and stronger than ever so that we may lead our homeland forward.»

Mitsotakis underlined the critical importance of enforcing the partial lockdown and the government-decreed restriction of movement, which is encapsuled in the «stay home» television ad campaign.

He called on the Greek people «not to celebrate on streets and squares, but at home, with flags raised and with our thoughts focused on the struggle of our ancestors for freedom.»

Mitsotakis said the enemy today is the coronavirus epidemic which must be confronted with social solidarity and that “we are all equal in this struggle”.

«In 1821 our ancestors were united and rebelled and freed our homeland and the following generations built upon that and enlarged it. Today, their descendants are keeping vigil on different fronts: at the borders, at hospitals, and in daily life,» he said, underlining that they are today’s heroes.

«Only united peoples can overcome difficulties,» he underlined. «No society can stand without healthcare and no citizen can be healthy if those around him or her are not healthy [as regards the coronavirus epidemic].»

Mitsotakis declared that there will be losses from the pandemic and called for flexibility.

«We have had and will have losses, and our economy will suffer. But it is our duty to reduce the pain to the least possible and to share the cost of adapting to the new economic reality in a just way,» he said.

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