We are at one of the most critical turning points in our country’s history, in the midst of an effort to return to a normality that will be very different from the one we knew and expected, with uncharted waters ahead.
In our transition to the new normality, we are armed with a great achievement, attained through diligence and commitment to shielding our society from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic; this achievement is the credibility that Greece has built and earned, both within its borders and in the international community. Managing and preserving this credibility will be the biggest challenge as the country moves forward toward restoring sustainability and growth.
Taking into account the chronic issues and outdated paradigms that the pandemic has brought to light, we must focus our attention on four crucial pillars in our effort to restore this new, different normality: Education. Tourism. Healthcare. Entrepreneurship. Four aspects of the Greek ecosystem that weave the narrative of our present and our future.
In education, the much needed integration of digital technologies is both a challenge and grounds for redesigning educational processes and boosting digital skills.
Tourism, which is severely affected, must redefine itself, finding new ways of providing services while continuing to deliver outstanding customer experience. We must pursue a year-round season, exemplary accommodation options, and conference and medical tourism infrastructure that acknowledges the new hybrid environment in which physical presence and digital interconnection are inextricably linked.
In healthcare, the crisis has highlighted the importance of a highly skilled workforce with sufficient knowhow as well as the need for major structural changes that will enable our public health system to handle the new demands even in periods of protracted crisis. We must also expand our medical research capabilities in collaboration with international institutions, and we must offer specialization opportunities to young doctors from across the world.
Entrepreneurship is a key force for growth in Greece and could be the key to growth that is also fully plugged into the globalized, interconnected economy. Efforts, on the local and national level, to support innovation, encourage startups and add value to existing businesses and organizations, are driving a truly dynamic economic model.
The effort to build on these fronts has transformed into a quest for a new production model for our economy that will make us more productive, more creative, more patient, and more collaborative. If we have learned something from this crisis, it is that we must listen to experts and have level-headed and constructive debates—the very things that allowed us to rebuild our credibility in the midst of adversity. And we must continue to build on this.
A longer version of this article, in Greek, has previously been published online on emea.gr