Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met in Strasbourg with the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, in the framework of his contacts with leading officials of the European institutions to support Greece in dealing with the consequences of the recent natural disasters.
At the beginning of the meeting they made the following statements:
Roberta Metsola: Under these very difficult circumstances we stand with you in full solidarity, full support. I understand you are meeting now the Commission President.
And two quick messages from me. First of all, that from political, budgetary, resource point of view, any decision that needs to be taken by the Parliament, we will do it as quickly as possible because we know that this is a situation of such a climate catastrophic disaster that requires unprecedented efficiency and help.
Second point: Greece does not have to be alone to face what should be a situation faced by the whole of Europe. I mean, in the worst of times the people of Greece need to see the best of Europe, and this is what the Parliament Committees have to do.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Thank you, Madame President, for welcoming me. Indeed, I am here today because it was more convenient to meet the President of the Commission and her team as quickly as possible, given the fact that they are here this week also for the State of the Union event.
You’re right to point out that we have faced an unprecedented weather event, a catastrophe of immense proportions, something that was essentially beyond sort of our scale of prediction and comprehension. And you’re right that in unprecedented times we need an unprecedented response. And that is why I am here, to see in what way we can mobilise more European assistance, in the short term to help Greece now and the Greek people now, but also in the longer term, to be more aware of the fact that these sorts of events are going to occur with increased frequency and that we cannot only focus on mitigation.
We are very bold when it comes to Europe in terms of our mitigation policy, climate neutrality by 2050. But we need to be much more active when it comes to adaptation. And frankly, the funds that are available now for adaptation are simply not sufficient to deal with these types of events.
That’s a topic to be discussed amongst all European institutions. Of course it will be discussed with the Commission. It will be discussed, I will certainly raise it on the Council. And of course, it also needs to be debated at the European Parliament.
Thank you again for your solidarity. We will manage to get through this. And it is important also for the people of Greece, especially the people of Thessaly, who were struck by this catastrophe, to know that Europe stands by them not just in words, but also in terms of concrete actions. And hopefully, by the time we meet with the President of the Commission and her team afterwards we will have sort of more specific things to say.