Facts are facts and they cannot be disputed any way you look at them. Right now they are glaringly clear and they reveal the course of the COVID-19 epidemic in Greece.

There can be no doubt any longer that the epidemic is in the process of being checked and that this is in large measure due to the much faster pace of the vaccine rollout now.

As long as the vaccination programme continues to proceed smoothly – without inhibitions or reservations, with the current pace of over 100,000 vaccinations daily, and with citizens continuing to take personal protective measures – the number of new COVID-19 cases, the number of hospitalisations and intubations, and the number of deaths will continue to decline.

All the data from hospitals and public health authorities indicate that right now Greece appears to be gradually transcending the unprecedented threat of COVID-19, which has already taken a heavy toll.

By all appearances, our country will be able to achieve the much-desired wall of immunity by the end of June, and that will gradually bring a normalisation of social and economic life.

That will allow us to leave behind the damage of the winter pandemic and the protracted period of anxiety and to expect a summer of renewed creativity, reorganisation and reconstruction.

The country will be able to recover even as the case load of hospitals declines and the public health community will be freed of the burden of caring for everyone. We shall be able to safely walk the streets, work, enjoy activities, and carry on with our lives without burdensome restrictions.

Most notably, checking the epidemic will result in a great and indisputable opportunity for Greece and its citizens.

Greece will benefit from a very robust EU pandemic recovery fund package that will suffice to make up for losses suffered during the pandemic and that will create conditions for a socio-economic rebirth and modernisation through the reconstruction process.

Fortunately, this time the disbursal and use of EU funds will be governed by certain principles and rules that will earmark monies for the green and digital transformations.

For the first time in the post-war era, Greece will have at its disposal the funds needed for a leap toward modernisation, a change in the model of production, and an absorption of new technologies that will facilitate the functioning of the economy and society.

Our country now has an opportunity to achieve through the EU’s Recovery and Resilience Fund for Greece all that it did not manage to achieve at the time of its accession to the European Community in 1979 and of its admission to the Eurozone in 2002.

It can literally re-establish its energy sector, achieve a rebirth of its downgraded industry, breathe life into the neglected primary sector that is linked to the agrifood sector, and connect with new technologies in all types of services from commerce and tourism to health and education. That will expand the inter-connected cycles of employment and income.

It is no coincidence that the EU Recovery Fund has fuelled great expectations, is tending to mobilise the entire business community, and is attracting the interest of international investors.

Therefore, we have a real opportunity that at the same time constitutes the greatest challenge for the government and all opposition parties.

Rarely does one encounter such opportunities in the history of nations, countries, and societies that combine funding with the right conditions for regeneration and reconstruction.

The dynamic of the future will arise from the process of exploiting this opportunity, which will determine everything in the spheres of the economy, society, and of course politics.

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