Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (R) talks with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez at Greek Prime Minister's Office in Athens, Greece, on May 10, 2021. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez visited Greece on Monday to attend the 6th Delphi Economic Forum. (Photo by Michalis Karayannis/Xinhua)

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Monday called for waiving intellectual property rights protected by patents for COVID-19 vaccines in order to speed up production to assist countries in need.

“The health crisis has highlighted more than anything the need for joint action to address threats,” Mitsotakis said following a meeting with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez in Athens.

“The main issue today is how we will allow, using all the means at our disposal, the production of more vaccines and export them without hindrance to the countries in need,” Greek national broadcaster ERT quoted him as saying.

“Thanks to vaccination we can feel more optimistic about the pandemic,” the Spanish leader said, adding that the vaccinations are opening the road to economic recovery.

As the world is struggling to contain the pandemic, vaccination is underway in an increasing number of countries with already-authorized coronavirus vaccines. Meanwhile, 280 candidate vaccines are still being developed worldwide — 97 of them in clinical trials — in countries including Germany, China, Russia, Britain, and the United States, according to the World Health Organization.

Mitsotakis and Sanchez, as well as Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa who also visited the Greek capital on Monday, expressed their strong support for the Digital Green Certificate, introduced by the European Commission and expected to be implemented from June to help ease restrictions on non-essential travels to the European Union (EU).

The “green pass” will be given to EU residents who can prove they have been vaccinated and to those who have a recent negative test result, or can prove they have recovered from the infection.

The three prime ministers, along with other leaders, participated in the Delphi Economic Forum VI that takes place in Athens and online from Monday until Saturday. Over 1,000 guest speakers from some 40 countries are expected to take part in the discussions on themes such as global economy, climate change, technology and health.

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