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Covid-19: Greek PM Discusses Possible Tourism Pact with Specific Countries

Greek PM Kyriakos exchanging views dueing a videoconference held between world leaders on May 7. Photo source: primeminister.gr

Greek PM Kyriakos exchanging views dueing a videoconference held between world leaders on May 7. Photo source: primeminister.gr

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday underlined the importance of tourism cooperation between countries that have recorded very low cases of the coronavirus.

Speaking during a videoconference, chaired by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, with leaders from countries that managed to contain the spread of Covid-19 with success, the Greek PM made a proposal for more frequent discussions to be held among them.

According to Mitsotakis, the discussions would concern the establishment of specific protocols allowing safe travel, as many countries are already considering to open their borders.

The Greek PM later said on twitter: “…An extensive discussion took place regarding tourism, where protocols & ‘safe corridors’ must be agreed upon to allow people to be transported between specific countries.”

This was the second round of talks where a tourism cooperation was discussed, following a videoconference held on April 24 between Mitsotakis and the same six leaders: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis. In yesterday’s videoconference, Singapore’s PM, Lee Hsien Loong, was added to the discussion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the videoconference. Photo source: @netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the videoconference. Photo source: @netanyahu

According to The Times of Israel, after the videoconference, the office of Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that further “dedicated meetings in the areas of tourism and aviation” would be held between the tourism ministers of the countries. Israel currently bars the entry of all foreigners.

PM Netanyahu said that Israel would be “happy to enter into safe flight agreements”, The Times of Israel said.

After the videoconference, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz tweeted:

Moreover, during the videoconference, the leaders discussed their plans and strategies for restarting their economies and opening up commercial activities.

The eight leaders also discussed strategies for dealing with a possible second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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