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Minister admits: “Out of respect to religion” no early lockdown in Thessaloniki

Τhe Greek government admitted on Tuesday that it ignored the epidemiologists’ proposals for early lockdown in Thessaloniki in October “out of respect for traditions and religion.” That was said on Tuesday morning by Development Minister Adonis Georgiadis.

Speaking to Skai TV, Georgiadis said that “Out of respect for tradition and faith and even though the experts told us to quarantine earlier, we did not do it and we mourned many victims.”

Speaking about the current one-week lockdown and the row between the government and the Church of Greece over the ban on Epiphany day, January 6, Georgiadis said the government did not want to repeat the mistake it committed in Thessaloniki when the faithful flocked to churches on the feat of the Patron of the city St Demetrios, on October 26.

“I want to be honest, one of the reasons that the decision was made for the quarantine this week, was the previous one in Thessaloniki … Then some infectious disease specialists told us that there should be a quarantine in Thessaloniki before the feast of Agios Dimitrios,” the minister said.

“Out of respect for tradition, Orthodoxy and faith, we did not quarantine before the feast of St. Demetrius, I remind you that this was the main mistake made in Thessaloniki, and the Prime Minister admitted it in Parliament,” Georgiadis pointed out.

“On that day, the faithful gathered, the church could not control the influx, and then Thessaloniki became the city that mourned the most victims. The pictures of Agios Dimitrios feast in Thessaloniki, projected in the pictures of the Epiphany during the pandemic, is the sole reason that led us to the lockdown,” he added.

Minister Georgiadis said that he did not expect the Church of Greece and the Archbishop would defy the ban and call on the faithful to join the Blessing the Waters ceremony.

Note: in an interview with Alpha TV on December 7 the Prime Minister had said about Thessaloniki that they did not have any suggestions by the experts to impose lockdown earlier neither any relevant requests by the locl authorities.

Today, media recall again that local authorities had asked for the cancellation of the festive religious service in Thessaloniki.

PS it is certainly “cynical” to confess that “respect to tradition and religion” lead to death hundreds of people, and to go away with it, without any consequences whatsoever…

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3 comments

  1. Now who is governing this country? The government or the church? And who pays the price? Poor people that “believe” that the priests are right and they might not go to heaven, although the main problem is the priests’ pockets that haven’t been filling up enough, due to the. Corona crisis. Shame on them and sorry for the ones, that got their covid this way
    Government where are you???
    Afraid of the church? You have to protect your citizens, you know. That’s why we voted for you!!!

  2. Seems that an invisible super being living in the sky is more important than the lives of simple hard working people
    The government has just admitted that they were wrong back in October not to put theskolini in lockdown after ignoring expect advice, which in turn has lengthened the lockdown not to mention the lives lost.
    Will the church admit that they are responsible for the possible extended lockdown and deaths that will no doubt occur if they go ahead with their arrogant attitude

  3. Respect of religion is more important than respect of life and health of citizens? The state is responsible to PROTECT it’s citizens, not to bow to the church.