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Epirus dev't plan 2030 a model collaboration of central and local government

Featured Epirus dev't plan 2030 a model collaboration of central and local government

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spoke about the northern Greek region of Epirus as one that "can play a leading role in growth, social cohesion, environmental protection and overall quality of life," at the presentation event of the Epirus Development Program 2030 at Ioannina on Wednesday.

The plan comprises more than 380 projects, budgeted at 2.7 billion euros, and it also includes upgrades in regional public hospitals, and the promotion of the region as a all-year-round tourism destination. Specific aspects of the project were presented by the corresponding ministers accompanying the premier.

All the regional growth programs presented so far been have "secured financial resources, specific agencies to realize them and implementation schedules," he noted. Furthermore, the plan -drafted jointly by the government and by regional and local government authorities - "commits all central and local government authorities to be consistent and to complete and deliver projects that are already in progress," he pointed out.

Epirus has benefited greatly from three specific road projects that have helped elevate the region out of its geographical isolation, Mitsotakis underlined: the Egnatia motorway, the Ionian Road and the E65 European motorway.

When the Greek portion of the E65 motorway is completed, it will also serve - beyond Epirus itself - Western Macedonia, Thessaly and even Attica, he added.

The significance of the port of Igoumenitsa was also mentioned by the prime minister, who noted that all the planning has been completed and the final step, the contract's parliamentary ratification, will unleash the port's tremendous development potential.

In this case, privatization is equal to long-term leasing by private contractors, he explained, "in full consultation with municipal authorities, while also approving projects that might have nothing to do with port activities per se, but which are important to the local community, so that the port of Igoumenitsa can fully unfold its development potential."

Maintaining the quality of the dairy-producing region is also important, he said, particularly the protection of feta cheese as an export flagship, said Mitsotakis.

Regarding state support of the agricultural sector, Mitsotakis mentioned the young farmers program, worth 45 million euros, which concerns more than 2,000 beneficiaries, while rural road construction projects worth 12 million euros are also underway. New irrigation projects, such as the completion of the Kompoti dam, will support the work of some 6,000 farmers.

Another project Mitsotakis said he personally believes will be successful by year's end is UNESCO's approval of Greece's nomination for the inclusion of the region of Zagori in the list of World Cultural Landscapes.