Greek, Dutch PMs mull over pandemic, migration, economy

FILE PHOTO: Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (L) welcomes visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Athens, Greece, Nov. 9, 2021.

The fallout of a new wave of the pandemic in Europe dominated discussions between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte in Athens Tuesday evening.

“The measures are common everywhere. We have decided to avoid shutting down our society and economy, to extend the use of mask and social distancing, to give more support to our national health systems, to keep on with vaccination program and booster shots in order to surpass the crisis,” Mitsotakis said following the meeting.

Mitsotakis also exchanged views on bilateral ties and European issues with Rutte, who was on a working visit to Greece before heading to Albania and North Macedonia. Rutte’s visit was believed to pave the way for an official visit of the Dutch royal family in December.

For his part, Rutte highlighted economic collaboration of the two countries in investment and tourism. He expressed his admiration over reforms that Greece has implemented to achieve economic recovery, and said he was impressed that amid the pandemic Greece managed to push reforms and regain its competitiveness.

Turning to the migration issue, both sides agreed that it was a challenge to Europe. Mitsotakis stressed that the primary goal was to safeguard European and national borders and to save lives in danger.

“We appreciate all the efforts Greece is making to achieve progress in maintaining the borders. Those, who can not stay, have to go back,” Rutte said.

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