Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visists Larissa. Speech. Friday 24 February 2023.
(DIMITRIS PAPAMITSOS/PRIME MINISTER'S PRESS OFFICE/EUROKINISSI)
LARISSA – Greece’s image has changed globally, and it is also no longer the pariah, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, in an address at Alkazar sports arena in Larissa, adding that the country now plays a leading role in the EU.
In a tour of the central Greek region of Thessaly, Mitsotakis reviewed in a campaign speech his government’s successes and urged that voters show him their support in the upcoming elections (unannounced date yet), in order to complete his program that includes among other things salary raises in both the private and public sector, and a turn to renewable sources like the sun and wind in order to ensure that Grece gets 80% of its electricity from a sustainable source.
The government, he said, spent a total of 58 billion euros to support society and the economy. The result is that Greece is registering one of the highest rates of development in Europe and a rapid drop in unemployment, along with a record number of investments. “We can create more wealth and distribute it to those in need,” he said.
Some of the achievements of his first tenure he mentioned include 25,000 new permanent hires in schools; better protection of the borders and a stricter migration policy; stronger defense; maritime agreements with Italy and Egypt, and powerful bilateral agreements with the United States and France; lower and fewer taxes; and 300,000 new jobs.
Despite the challenges of migration flows, the pandemic, the energy and price hikes, and Turkey’s provocations, “we stayed the course” in Greece, he underlined, and Greece “remains a pillar of stability and a wall against any aggression.” He added that “what the last four years taught us is that Greece needs a firm hand at the helm.”
Addressing himself specifically to residents of Thessaly, the PM said that 35,000 producers in Thessaly have been supported with over 1 billion euros, and 60,000 residents of the prefecture have enrolled in career training. In addition, nearly 1 billion euros was earmarked for the destruction by the ‘Ianos’ weather phenomenon and the earthquake. The state has never rested, he said, and even in unprecedented attacks by nature it moved fast to restore things.
‘Thessaly 2030’ Development Program
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis presented the government’s ‘Thessaly 2030’ Development Program in the city of Larissa earlier on Friday.
The plan includes more than 570 projects and interventions, with a budget of 4.5 billion euros, and focuses on four key aspects including
– the construction of modern networks and infrastructures (142 projects with a 1.4 bln euro budget)
– the boosting of the primary sector in the context of green transition
– the imrovement of people’s lives in Thessaly, with investments of 1 billion euros in health, education, culture, security, the judicial system and waste management
– the promotion and strengthening of innovative investments in the region and the upgrading of people’s quality of life.
The projects to be implemented also include interventions to improve land and maritime transport and connectivity, such as ferry lines between Thessaloniki, Evia and the Sporades.
Irrigation of cultivated areas and the overall management of water resources is another key development outlook which corresponds to 90 projects worth 1.05 billion euros. The “elephant in the room” as far as Thessaly is concerned is water management, Mitsotakis pointed out, mentioning the partial transfer of water from Acheloos River as part of the solution, the Enipeas River dam, the “emblematic work of the Tavropos irrigation project,” and the hydroelectric Mesochora dam, “which is finally moving forward after so many years.”
At the event, the PM was accompanied by several ministers, who presented details on the Thessaly plan.
Apart from pledging to restore the ancient theatre of Larissa, the prime minister spoke of submitting an application for the inclusion of Mt. Olympus in the list of World Heritage Monuments.
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