With the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metzola the prime minister met a while ago Kyriakos Mitsotakisin Strasbourg, in the context of the contacts he has with leading officials of the European institutions for the support of Greece in dealing with the effects of the recent natural disasters.

At the opening of the meeting the following statements were made (unofficial translation from English):

Roberta Metsola: Under these very difficult circumstances we stand by your side, expressing our absolute solidarity and support. As I understand, you will now meet with the President of the European Commission.

Two short messages from me. First of all, from a political point of view, in terms of budget and resources, any decision that needs to be taken by the Parliament will be taken as soon as possible. Because we know that this is a major disaster linked to the climate crisis and requires unprecedented efficiency and aid.

Second point: Greece should not be alone in dealing with a situation that should be dealt with by the whole of Europe. I want to emphasize that in the worst moments the Greeks must see the best face of Europe, and this is what the Committees of the Parliament must do.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis: Madam President, thank you for the welcome. Indeed, I am here today because I had to meet the President of the Commission and her staff as soon as possible, given that they are here this week and for her annual State of the Union address.

You rightly point out that we were faced with an unprecedented weather phenomenon, a disaster of enormous proportions, which was essentially beyond the magnitudes we could have foreseen. And you are right that in unprecedented times we need an unprecedented response.

That is why I am here, to see how we can mobilize more European aid, both in the short term to help Greece and the Greek people now, but also in the long term, to be more aware of the fact that these kinds of phenomena will manifest themselves with increased frequency and that we cannot focus only on mitigating the consequences.

At European level we are very bold in our mitigation policy, climate neutrality by 2050. However, we need to be much more active in adaptation. And, frankly, the funds currently available for adaptation are simply not enough to deal with these kinds of events.

This is a matter that needs to be discussed between all European institutions. Of course it will be discussed with the European Commission. It will be discussed – I will certainly put it – at the European Council. It must certainly be discussed in the European Parliament.

Thank you again for your solidarity. We will get through it. It is also important for Greek citizens, especially those in Thessaly, who were hit by this disaster, to know that Europe stands by them, not only in words, but also in concrete actions. We hope that in the meeting with the President of the Commission and her team afterwards, we will have more concrete things to say.