CHALKI, Greece — Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that one of his government's priorities is offering practical support to frontier islands such as Chalki, near Rhodes island, where he visited and spoke from on Thursday.
Alongside his spouse, Mareva Grabowski-Mitsotaki, he first attended a memorial service in honor of Chalki native and former health minister and cardiologist Dimitris Kremastinos, who died of the coronavirus on May 8, at age 78. After the inauguration of the island's new multi-clinic "Dimitrios Th. Kremastinos", he spoke of soon launching medical consultation services via video conferencing for islands like Chalki.
He also reminded attendees of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation's donation to the country's national health system, which includes two ambulance airplanes and two helicopters that will be servicing the smaller, furthermost islands like Chalki.
The prime minister met with the island's mayor Angelos Fragakis and members of the municipal council.
Addressing the municipal council at the town hall, he spoke of reducing property tax (ENFIA) for small and frontier island's inhabitants and also mentioned an extra financial incentive for them, to help, as he said, with life at the islands during winter time.
Speaking of the coronavirus, he also stressed that wearing face masks at all times in public is a small sacrifice benefitting public health, and urged islanders to observe all safety measures diligently.
Mitsotakis also welcomed proposals for using green technologies to help the island become more energy-sufficient and better manage its waste, and he also heard ideas about eventually creating a dedicated commercial port at Chalki.
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