Almost half a billion euros in funding sourced from the National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) – best known with the Greek acronym ESPA – and national programs for municipalities will be funnelled into development projects in small Greek islands.
Beneficiaries include 42 of Greece’s less populated islands, with a permanent population of under 5,000 residents each.
At a meeting with their mayors at Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis set out the framework for collaboration with the Greek government over project implementation.
“We 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.”
But he also highlighted the imperative for active support by the mayors and the local communities for development projects to succeed.
“Otherwise, they will never take shape,” Mr Mitsotakis said.
From their end, mayors present at the meeting pointed to issues inhibiting implementation and progress of development programs, some of which are ongoing.
Problems highlighted include lack of staff and adequate medical facilities, as well as issues with maritime transport and energy.
Green transition is among the priorities set out by the funds. Meanwhile, 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 (of which 128.7 million euros have been sourced from NSRF funds).
The 42 small Greek islands targeted by the development funds are:
Agathonisi, Agios Efstratios, Agkistri, Alonnisos, Amorgos, Anafi, Antiparos, Astypalaia, Gavdos, Elafonisos, Psara, Ios, Ithaca, Kea, Kimolos, Kythera, Kythnos, Lipsi, Meganisi, Megisti, Milos, Naxos, Nisyros, Oinouses, Paxoi, Patmos, Poros, Samothraki, Serifos, Sikinos, Sifnos, Skopelos, Skyros, Spetses, Symi, Tilos, Hydra, Folegandros, Chalki, Kassos, Corfu, Diapontia Islands and Fournoi Korseon.