Forty-two mayors of some of Greece’s less populated islands met with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Maximos Mansion this week, according to a report from ANA. The topic of discussion was cooperation with the government and a progress report on the ongoing development of those islands. Only the overall discussion of eco-friendly and sustainable Greece seems fragmented and slightly disjointed.
These islands are receiving almost half a billion euros (482.5 million) for new development from national programs, and from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) resources, according to the report. The latest report does not make clear whether or not these new funds are part of a bigger plan to invest at least 1 billion euros to boost energy autonomy, introduce smart and electric transportation and efficient street lighting and so on announced some time back by Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas. On the current news, Prime Minister Mitsotakis was quoted saying:
“[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.”
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.
A list of islands of the so-called GR-Eco Island fund was announced in a report in 2021. That fund involved 300 million euros and included Symi, Agathonisi, Megisti, Arkii, Marathi, Kasos, Pserimos, Gyali, Leipsii, Telendos, Nisyros, Megalonisi, Inousses, Psara, Fournii, Thymena, Amorgos, Anafi, Donousa, Iraklia, Antiparos, Schinousa, Ios, Sikinos, Koufonisi, Folegandros, Thirasia, Kythnos, Kimolos, Serifos, Sifnos and Kea.
It’s unclear whether or not is GR-Eco funding was part of the “Nearachos” effort, or not. It seems likely that this program is one of those the mayors were reporting progress on. So, imagine if we are confused, how must the average Greek citizen must feel. Though it’s clear the government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is tapping into European and national development funds and income from greenhouse gas emissions certificates, how, when, where, how much, and what goals are set remain ambiguous.
Finally, recent studies indicate that these small islands need “tailored solution sets” in order to tackle region-specific sustainability challenges.” This Journal of Industrial Ecology report from this year primarily focuses on establishing more sustainable material and energy use patterns on the island of Samothraki. The point is, that plenty of funding and answers are out there, but it remains to be seen how these smaller islands will fare sustainability-wise.
I guess this fragmented news simply means there’s a lot of eco-friendly money floating around, and small Greek islands will probably benefit?