Wed, 03 Jun 2020

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has called on members of his government and MPs from his party to give up half of their salaries to combat the coronavirus.

The country's president, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, who took office on March 13, immediately agreed "in view of the difficult financial circumstances in which the country finds itself due to the coronavirus pandemic."

"We are all equal in the face of the health threat," Mitsotakis said in a statement on Monday. "But in the battle against it, everyone has to offer according to their own strengths."

"Our country's political world must stand at the forefront of solidarity," he said, calling on members of his government and deputies from his conservative New Democracy party to pay half of their salaries over two months into a special fund to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mitsotakis added he was "sure that the other parties will follow this course of action."

The main left-wing opposition Syriza party has said that such a payment should be "compulsory and not optional as employees who lose half of their salaries... have not had a choice."

Greece has officially recorded 43 deaths and 1,212 COVID-19 infections among a population of around 11 million.

The government has taken emergency measures to support the health service, businesses and the private sector employees hit by the crisis, at a cost of around 6.8 billion euros ($7.4 billion), or 3.5% of GDP.

Sign up for Greece News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!