Doorstep remarks by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis before the start of the special meeting of the European Council

This special meeting of the European Council has a rich agenda. We will have the opportunity to discuss developments concerning the pandemic. Allow me to express my satisfaction with the agreement reached by the European institutions on the new regulation for the implementation of the Covid-19 Certificate. This was a Greek initiative, after all, and I am delighted that the Certificate will enter into force as soon as possible, so as to facilitate the safe travels of European citizens within the EU.

Today our country will probably reach the 5 million vaccinations milestone. By significantly accelerating operation “Freedom” (Eleftheria), we are raising an immunity wall, which will allow us to return to normality as soon as possible, both in terms of the economy and our social life. Welcoming visitors safely this summer is, of course, a political priority for the Greek government.

Today we will have the opportunity to discuss a series of matters pertaining to the foreign relations of the EU. Allow me to focus on the diverted Ryanair flight that had taken-off from Athens and was headed to Vilnius. This is an act that essentially amounts to a state-sponsored hijacking. It is not enough to verbally denounce this act.

The European Union must adopt, as soon as possible, a new set of robust sanctions against Belarus, in order to send the message that such practices cannot and should not be tolerated in the European continent.