Konstandinos Giagkou – Covid-19 Stories – Brussels

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Kostandinos Giagkou
Konstandinos can you please tell us about yourself

I am Kostandinos from Limassol, 27 years old, completed my bachelor degree at the University of Cyprus in the field of «European studies and languages (English and German).

Always having an interest on politics, mainly the European and international ones. I had experienced working in the Forex industry. Now an Intern in the office of the Cypriot MEP Costas Mavrides (Democratic Party, S&D) in Brussels.

Kostandinos Giagkou and Iratxe Garcia
Kostandinos Giagkou
and Iratxe Garcia member of the European Parliament and President of the S&D group
What made you decide to move to Brussels?

Brussels is literally the capital of Europe, and not just the Belgian capital. It is the political and administrative core center for all essential decisions, that directly concern all European citizens. NATO, Council of the European Union, European Commission, European Parliament and other institutions maintain their headquarters location in Brussels.

Every person who is dreaming to actively involved in the European political scene, must live and work there at least once in his/her life.

How is life working for a Member of the European parliament?

It is challenging, unique and exciting at the same time. Being present on the plenary sessions of the European Parliament, observing live the 750 MEPs from 27 different countries with various agendas and external policies, divided into 7 political groups with contrasting ideologies.

They always keep in mind that they represent the voice of the European folk, that’s why there are there, for the reason that they have been elected and the respect their national audience trust them for five years.

Costas Mavrides is a fully member in the ECON committee (economic and monetary union) it is considered one of the hardest, and a sub member in the INTA (International trade) and SEDE (Security and defence). Every time I watch my MEP how passionately he works and convinces his colleagues with his speech and arguments to achieve the best possible interest for Cyprus economically, diplomatically and at national level, is a source of inspiration.

How does life compare to your home town Limassol?

Limassol is a beautiful developing Mediterranean city that is known for its hospitality, coastline and long-lasting sunshine. Therefore, the conditions influence the mindset of its habitats, they are relaxed and they have similar mentality with other Southern Europeans.

Brussels is a business city in the heart of Europe, with depressing weather and quicker pace of life. I love both for different reasons.

 

How did the news of the first Cyprus measures find you? Konstandinos did measures in Brussels start after or before Cyprus?

The first Cyprus measures found me in Brussels where  measures started after Cyprus unexpectedly.

 

What measures have been taken in Brussels and how did the city and its people react? 

The measures that have been taken in Brussels were quite lenient in the beginning, everybody was questioning why; since Belgium is among France and Germany, so the scenario of an explosion of covid-19 cases was just a matter of time to be verified. And that is what happened.

Kostandinos Giagkou and Eva Kaili
Kostandinos Giagkou
and Eva Kaili member of the European Parliament
What actions have you seen by the European Parliament, are meeting being held in person? Have many members gone back to their countries?

The European Parliament, as the Institution in highest danger, took actions very quickly. The EP cancelled the Plenary in Strasbourg and soon the annulment of the following Plenaries was announced.

The majority of the members decided to return the their home countries, where they preferred to stay, to avoid any interactions with other family members.

 

Konstandinos what actions did you decide to take? Are you planning to travel back to Cyprus when possible?

I decided to stay in Brussels because we work remotely and we skype almost on daily basis. That will be also possible in Cyprus, that’s why many MEPs and assistants left, but the measures that both countries triggered wouldn’t really change anything for me or anyone staying at home here or Cyprus. It is just temporary everywhere; this is what people need to comprehend.

How do you keep your mind busy?

The first two weeks was a shocking for me just like everyone else. We get used to our routine, work, daily schedule. Then suddenly we were forced to be isolated at home, not that imaginary, in a disease that we still don’t know how much will last, and what exactly the damages it will cause.

I am exercising at home, jogging, bicycling and go for a walk in the plenty of big parks that the city is offering.

I sleep more hours than, before, I cook more often and generally I organise all thing I avoided in the past, since I didn’t have plenty of time to enjoy it. Cleaning the house and watching many hours Netflix series help me to spent my time during my quarantine.

Konstandinos tell us something positive you have got out of this entire situation?

We will definitely undoubtedly appreciate all that we had. Meeting with friend, going for a coffee, going to gym. Social interaction is so important to us. Human being is a social creature.

Meeting with friend, going for a coffee, going to gym. Social interaction is so important to us

We would like to thank Konstandinos Giagkou for this interview if you like you can follow him on linkedin 

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