Parliament approved on Thursday night the government’s legislation aimed at bringing street protests under greater control but the political reverberations from the contentious legislation are likely to last for some time.
While reopening Greece to tourism was eagerly anticipated as a potential remedy for some of the economic impact of the pandemic, the realities of managing inflows of visitors safely are slowly becoming apparent as the number of coronavirus cases in the country rises.
The government has been forced to make changes to the bill aimed at regulating street demonstrations after objections were raised by Parliament’s scientific committee, not just opposition parties.
Details of the government’s spending on the Covid-19 public information campaign were released on Monday, prompting fresh accusations of political favouritism and untransparent dealings.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis says he will insist on any EU funds aimed at helping the Greek economy recover from the coronavirus setback being free of any onerous terms as his government tries to manage the considerable fiscal impact of the support measures it has announced and the downturn in business caused by the pandemic.
Amid considerable fanfare, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis oversaw the start of demolition work at the site of the former Athens airport in Hellinikon on Friday, calling it a symbol of the “new Greece.”
The “Great Walk”, a new traffic management plan for central Athens implemented by Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis in the wake of the lockdown, is attracting growing criticism from planning experts, the media and the public.
The spotlight fell on Greece’s tourism sector on Wednesday as regional airports, including on the islands, reopened to international flights, rekindling hopes that the arrival of visitors from abroad will boost the scant receipts gained so far this year by the industry.
Legislation aimed at regulating public demonstrations, which the ruling New Democracy deems necessary to restore order to city streets, is due to be debated in Parliament this week.
The telephone call last Friday between Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen by diplomatic sources in Athens as a first step for both sides to overcome the dead-end to which the recent lack of communication had been leading.