ATHENS – Forty-two mayors of some of Greece’s less populated islands met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday.
They discussed their collaboration with the government, as well as the implementation and progress on ongoing programs at these islands.
Although each of the 42 islands has a permanent population of under 5,000, “they receive a total of nearly 500 million euros in funding from national programs for municipalities and also from NSRF resources,” noted the premier. The breakdown of the 482.5 million euros includes 232.6 million euros from the Interior Ministry, and 249.9 million euros from other ministries’ programs (128.7 million euros of this is from NSRF funds).
The Greek state “must continuously strengthen our islands with new infrastructures, with new jobs for young people, by improving public transport and also local health and education facilities,” added Mitsotakis. Accomplishing their green transition will provide smaller islands in particular with a great comparative advantage, he underlined.
The Greek prime minister stressed however that EU, regional, and national programs will need the active support of the mayors and that of local communities, “otherwise they will never take shape.”
Some of the problems the mayors noted included lack of staff and adequate medical facilities, and issues in maritime transport and energy.
Mitsotakis announced that soon enough additional financial resources will be allocated from the Recovery Fund, while a new fund called “Nearchos” will focus on local projects related to water networks, desalination plants, port construction, and renewable energy sources.