WASHINGTON, DC, April 10, 2020 – Greece’s remarkable, world-leading response to COVID-19 was brought to the attention of over 200 top US policymakers in the US Congress, the White House, State Department and other thought leaders in Washington, DC by Manatos & Manatos.
“Once again, in times of tremendous difficulty and challenge, little Greece has become a role model for the rest of the world. This speaks to the legacy Greece has shaped over centuries – a legacy of courage, creativity and perseverance,” said Andy Manatos and Mike Manatos.
Despite its healthcare resources cut by 75% emerging from it’s Great Depression over the last 10 years, Greece was able to accomplish:
1. Record-setting flattening of the curve
The first slide shows deaths per million people in major European countries.
The second slide shows deaths from March 6 – April 5 for (from top to bottom) Netherlands (17.1 million), Belgium (11.4 million), Portugal (10.2 million), Greece (10.74 million).
2. Some of the most proactively restrictive measures in Europe
An April 10 Bloomberg piece titled “Greece Shows How to Handle the Crisis” notes that:
- “Athens closed down all non-essential shops only four days after reporting its first Covid-19 death. In contrast, Italy and Spain did so after 18 and 30 days, respectively. A ban on non-essential movement in Greece came only a week afterwards — faster than in either of the other two countries.”
- “Prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has emerged as a voice of reason on the international stage. For example, he slammed Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro for denying the gravity of the pandemic. Greece’s political system as a whole, including the main opposition party Syriza, has reacted with composure — a very different picture to the bitter infighting that has emerged in Spain. And the Greek population appears to be very mindful of respecting the lockdown rules, in part a result of the government’s steep penalties for non-compliance.”
The New York Times featured on April 5 Greek-American and Greece’s Chief Scientific Coordinator of Medical Response, Professor Sotirios Tsiodras, in their story “The Rising Heroes of the Coronavirus Era – Nations’ Top Scientists”
“In Greece, which has so far been spared a major outbreak, everyone tunes in when Prof. Sotirios Tsiodras, a slender-framed, gray-haired man, addresses the nation every day at 6 p.m. His delivery is flat, and he relies heavily on his notes as he updates the country on the latest figures of those confirmed sick, hospitalized or deceased….The head of the Greek government’s medical response to the coronavirus and a churchgoing father of seven with a long career studying infectious diseases at Harvard, M.I.T. and elsewhere, Professor Tsiodras is not one for embellishment.
By being frank, he has rallied the country behind some of the most proactively restrictive measures in Europe, which seem to be working as Greece counts just 68 deaths since the start of the outbreak. By contrast, Belgium, which has a similar population, just over 10 million, has recorded 1,283 deaths.”
An article in The Independent on April 8 titled, “How Greece Managed To Flatten the Curve,” notes that:
“The streets are pretty well deserted here. Someone commented that it’s a surprise Greeks have been so disciplined but really it’s not. When you say hello in Greek you say ‘health’, when you say goodbye you say ‘health’, our general benediction in conversation is health.
“I also think Greece has proven its resilience over the last few years, a skill inherited from the previous generations who survived against huge odds through the war, oppression and starvation.”
3. Leading the way with creative methods
- On April 1 Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis tweeted, “From today I entrust the wise Greek women to enforce the quarantine.” This was followed by a government announcement stating, “The amendment to the current quarantine law transfers the power of issuing the necessary permits primarily to mothers and grandmothers, as well as wives and sisters where there is no mother or grandmother”.
- Created a #greecefromhome campaign and web site, encouraging people around the world to watch, visit and learn about Greece from home. Watch the 1 minute promotional video here.
- One of the first countries to start a #stayathome campaign, which went viral on social media.