“The lockdown was imposed much earlier than in most countries in the western world,” George Pagoulatos, a political economist who heads the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, said. “The government reacted in a very competent manner, listening to the right people and making the right judgement, especially given the lack of a strong precedent but also in terms of communicating the decision and keeping people in their homes.”
Greeks reacted to the lockdown with surprising compliance — a legacy of the economic crisis, Pagoulatos said.
“Greece has been in an almost non-stop crisis mode, so society was better prepared to enter a state of alert as opposed to the complacency it found itself in 2009. Very few segments of society were not affected by the crisis, so there is a collective immunity to complacency.”
As for the future, there may be opportunities hidden within the crisis. Pagoulatos said that now may be the time to diversify the core tourism industry, among others. “Greece has leapfrogged into digitalisation through this crisis, it opens an opportunity to develop sectors in technology such as cyber security and cloud computing.”