Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent a message on Tuesday encouraging his fellow countrymen in the United States to stay engaged with and “travel mentally to” their homeland.
The prime minister’s message comes during a week in which US government officials, including President Donald Trump, advised American citizens to prepare for the country’s “peak” of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mitsotakis made special note of Greeks living in New York, which at the time of this article’s publication has seen more than 7,000 deaths (statewide) — approximately half of the nearly 15,000 deaths across the US.
“[My thoughts are] with Greeks wherever they may be,” he said. “And especially with those in the United States, and in New York, where there are many cases and, unfortunately, losses from the COVID-19 virus.”
He also made note of his government’s newly launched initiative called #GreeceFromHome, an online platform created by the Ministry of Tourism, Greek National Tourism Organization and Discover Greece. The platform aims to share the beauty and culture of Greece with users throughout the world who are forced to stay home due to the pandemic.
Read the full letter from Kyriakos Mitsotakis
My compatriots in America,
Greece is already entering into the second month of emergency measures imposed on us by the pandemic. Along with the illegal entry of migrants at our borders, we also faced an attack from this invisible enemy against our health. We won the first battle. As for the second one, we are winning it day-by-day. [We are winning it] with prompt and bold decisions from the government. With mobilization by the state. And with the responsible attitude of all citizens in cities and villages. At these difficult times, my thoughts are also with our brothers and sisters beyond our borders. [My thoughts are] with Greeks wherever they may be — and especially with those in the United States, and in New York, where there are many cases and, unfortunately, losses from the COVID-19 virus. The motherland is with them!
Greece’s experience [during the pandemic] demonstrates that calm and solidarity bring results. Therefore, stay at home, taking care of your personal health and of the most vulnerable. And stick together. Our Embassy and Consulates will always be open for you. And the organizations of the diaspora along with our Church are a stable network of support and solidarity.
Finally, travel mentally and find comfort in the homeland, thus reducing the distance between us. Contact relatives. Watch Greek programs on the TV and Internet. Familiarize yourself with our new online platform www.greecefromhome.com. Try Greek language courses. And with your memories of your travels to Greece, add a touch of color to the grayness that’s temporarily plaguing us.
Your grandparents and parents set off from a small country without resources, but with limitless strength and ingenuity. They settled down and succeeded in their new countries, overcoming every obstacle. In the same way now, we are going to overcome. With responsibility and discipline, soon the trouble of this pandemic will pass. And at that time we must be as healthy and have as few losses as possible. This way we can meet again, united and strong, during summer, in the homeland.
Greece always needs the support of its children. And these children, no matter where they live, always need Greece’s bright sun and blue seas.
I wish health and courage to all of you.
May all of us meet again in good health.
Featured image credit: Petros Giannakouris / Associated Press
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