The prime ministers of eight nations took part in a teleconference meeting during which the creation of “safe zones” for travel was discussed.
Participating in the teleconference were the leaders of Australia Scott Morrison, Austria Sebastian Kurtz, Czech Republic Andrej Babis, Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, Norway Erna Solberg and Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.
In addition to this same group of national leaders, a previous call on April 24 also included the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern.
According to the Athens daily newspaper Kathimerini, Greek Prime Minster Kyriakos Mitsotakis proposed the creation of a “safe corridor” that will allow travel between countries which have successfully contained their coronavirus outbreaks.
One of the hottest topics discussed in various diaspora social media channels is whether or not Greece will open her borders to allow people from certain nations to enter, particularly from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia— where large populations of diaspora Greeks live and travel often to Greece for summer pilgrimages.
Greece’s borders are currently closed to most travelers who don’t hold a Greek passport or those traveling with immediate family who are Greek nationals.
According to the newspaper report, the discussion also focused on strategies for tackling a possible second wave of the pandemic and leaders shared insight and expertise with each other.
According to a source inside the Greek Foreign Ministry who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak officially on the matter, there are currently no “plans on the table” to even undertake discussions with countries like the United Kingdom and the United States.
“Although critical to our tourism, the lives of our citizens are more important and while these nations are seeing thousands of deaths daily from this virus and their own problems at managing its containment, we would be better off waiting for their respective curves to flatten before opening up channels of communication to discuss the opening of borders,” the official told The Pappas Post in a telephone interview.
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