Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday paid a courtesy visit to the country’s head of state, President of the Republic Katerina Sakellaropoulou, at the presidential mansion in central Athens.

After wishing Sakellaropoulou a Merry Christmas, Mitsotakis noted that “we are now at the end of a very difficult year, one with many challenges. The year is ending with some good news regarding the course of our economy. I find it extremely optimistic that the Economist declared Greece as the ‘Country of 2023’, recognizing the huge efforts, primarily of the Greek people, to leave the difficult crisis years behind for good.”

In touching on one of the top headlines this month, he cited a very prominent government initiative to finally abolish the state’s monopoly in recognized higher education, thus allowing the establishment and operation of non-state, non-profit universities in the country.

In her response, Sakellaropoulou agreed over the good news on the economic front, renewed growth and the country’s much-improved image abroad.

“I had the opportunity to confirm this during my recent trip, (people) are impressed by the performance of the Greek economy…The issue of education is very important for the next generations, for all of us,” she said.

In an unrelated development, Mitsotakis a day earlier visited the Attikon University Hospital in southwest Athens-Piraeus area, which will host the first of 19 planned enhanced care units to be established by the National Health System for stroke victims.

The newly established unit will field six beds in the beginning, and will be staffed by specialist neurologists and nursing staff.