Just a few days following Turkey’s decision to abstain from seismic research in disputed areas in the Aegean as a gesture of goodwill that could facilitate the beginning of discussions between Athens and Ankara, the situation does not look straightforward and the Greek side is facing difficult decisions.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis has announced the formation of a government committee to work on Greece’s strategy for using the money available to Athens via the EU recovery fund, a matter which the prime minister sees as vitally important for his administration and the economy.
The long-awaited decision on compensating pensioners for retirement pay cuts ruled unconstitutional by Greece’s highest administrative court was unveiled by PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Parliament on Wednesday.
The use of face masks for debates in Parliament became compulsory on Wednesday as Greek authorities try to re-instill a sense of caution in the public after seeing the number of coronavirus cases rise significantly this week.
Turkey has decided to suspend for the time being planned research for oil and gas reserves in areas of the Aegean that Greece felt incorporated its continental shelf, which triggered a military stand-off over the past few days.
The rise in new daily cases of Covid-19 in Athens and other urban centres over recent days, combined with evidence that hygiene guidelines are being widely flouted, is leading the government to warn that a tightening of measures is imminent.
There was a slight de-escalation in Greece’s latest stand-off with Turkey in the Aegean over the weekend, following a particularly tense few days for Athens.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has been briefing opposition leaders on the situation with Turkey in a series of one-on-one meetings following his return from the EU summit in Brussels.
Athens is on alert after Turkey announce plans, via a NAVTEX advisory on Tuesday, for a seismic survey south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo between July 21 and August 2.
The controversial removal of refugees from temporary accommodation has caused tensions in the centre of Athens, as evicted families sheltering in a square became the focus of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations.