Debate: Mitsotakis and the focus

The slap that we have eaten as citizens, as employees, as parents, as businessmen, as artists (… .the long list) is a given. But some industries and workers have been hit hard. And the question that lingers is why we did not take the lesson of the first wave and again managed to close, mainly, the places of entertainment and culture. Why didn’t we take stricter measures earlier as a state and lead to total closure? The health system is paramount. Rightly so. Do not push. Rightly so. Let’s not flatten everything: one I walk around dancing tsamiko or tsifteteli without measures and another I drink / eat etc. observing the measures. But this, the latter, was not observed by some. As it did not adequately prepare, it seems, the state for the second wave. And scientists warn that – before the end of this thriller – a third and fourth wave will come…. During yesterday’s meeting of the Prime Minister with the parliamentary group of New Democracy, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis told his MPs why this decision was made. I quote his words as announced: “I listened with interest and concern to the remarks of many colleagues especially for the catering industry. And you should know that when we take public policy measures we never target any sector. I want to be absolutely clear on that. The reason why we had to make interventions in the restaurant, in the entertainment, in the culture, has to do with the fact that this is what the experts advised us to do. Especially the focus has the peculiarity that as long as you eat and drink your coffee you can not wear the mask. So, this is a reality that we can not ignore. However, both catering entrepreneurs and employees know that as we stood by them during the difficult times of spring, we will do the same now with financial tools that have been presented in detail by the relevant Ministries, in order to support entrepreneurs, to support, of course, the employees who will be suspended – we hope, I emphasize, we hope – if all goes well for a month so that we can slowly return to some normalcy in December. So that the Christmas holidays are not celebrations of much reduced economic and social activity. And, of course, many of the investments that catering entrepreneurs have made are investments that have come to stay. “Even if it reopens – when the restaurant reopens – we will still need personal protection measures or we may need heaters that may have been procured so that they can be outdoors for months, at least, weather permitting.” What does the catering industry say? In their letter, 50 catering associations from all over Greece request a meeting with the Prime Minister and state: the urgency of the moment requires an attitude of responsibility and honesty from everyone. In the first wave of the pandemic and in your first sermon, you asked us all to turn our backs on dealing with the health and financial crisis. The whole of society, as well as our industry, paid great attention and protected the country from collapse, observing the health restrictions. However, in the financial part, which concerns the support of the catering, you faced us with a series of mishandling, which continue to this day, with the announcement of the second lock down for most of the industry. Initially, only the horizontal support measures, without any sectoral separation, led to a waste of valuable resources as 8 months later the industry has accumulated additional debts. The focus is multi-layered, multifaceted and coming from a decade of bankruptcy, it cannot be supported by piecemeal solutions. Central planning is required to deal with the pandemic but also to operate in a healthy business environment when the health crisis is over. Mr. Prime Minister, for the past 8 months the catering industry has been at the mercy of the health crisis without actually participating in the most important, the consultation that will help you understand the problem and provide the necessary solutions. This letter is signed by clubs from all over Greece and they ask for a meeting with you, without any financial cost and staying away from creating impressions, so that as the second largest employer in the country, he can explain to you and suggest realistic solutions for his survival. To add uncertainty to the debate. Yesterday, the show Society Hour MEGA recorded the concern of traders about the impact that the new measures will have on their businesses. Although retail in Athens is open, the closure of restaurants is raising concerns about a possible chain reaction in the market. “We are in the second day of intermediate discounts. Consumers should not be afraid, because we observe all the protection measures in our stores. It will be a difficult time, but we will try. We are optimistic, we expect consumers to do their shopping. I have a business with watches and jewelry. I assure you that retail is completely safe, we observe all measures, masks, distances, a certain number of customers in the store, hygiene in the areas that are constantly defined “, said Mr. Makis Savvidis, trader.” In this case a second lockdown will it is painful. Retail is underperforming. We just got an extension, that alone, in relation to our colleagues in Thessaloniki. In Athens we are living the financial lockdown from May 11 until today “, said from his side Mr. Giannis Michalopoulos, trader. “We will inevitably be led to layoffs because now the expenses are unbearable, the rents are high, and the next thing we will do is lay off. So far we are keeping the staff at any cost “, he added. The debate will continue, not only with the catering industry, but also with the culture. According to the latest data, the turnover in the restaurant is 60% lower than the last year’s levels. It is estimated that if this trend continued, ie without lockdown, by the end of the year the annual turnover might have reached 2 billion euros, from 5 billion euros in 2019. Around 80,000 companies are active in the catering industry, most of them family-owned. The employees reach 330,000 while another 100,000 are the so-called “assisting members”, such as the wife, children, etc. It is estimated that the industry affects close to 1 million jobs, from the primary sector to industry and services. in Google News and be the first to know all the newsSee all the latest News from Greece and the World, at

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