G. Patoulis: “The experience of Commissioner Avramopoulos as regards European and local government issues will be an ally in our efforts to address the migration issue and to re-launch development in Attica”

avram2George Patoulis: “Τhe refugee and migration issue is one of our key concerns since taking office in the Region of Attica. We are waiting for the draft legislation and then we will plan the next steps to be taken in cooperation with the municipalities of Attica. To this end, a conference will be held with the mayors of all municipalities of Attica, to which the political leadership of the relevant ministries will be invited as well. For our part, we will do our best for our country, for our fellow citizens as well as for every section of our society affected by the refugee and migration crisis”

The aforementioned statement was made by the Regional Governor of Attica, Mr G. Patoulis following the official visit of the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Dimitris Avramopoulos to his office, where a meeting was held with the participation of the Regional Vice Governor for Finance, the Regional Vice Governor for Civil Protection, as well as the Regional Vice Governors of the regional units of Piraeus, the Saronic Islands, Southern Athens, Western Athens and Eastern Attica.

The meeting focused on the refugee-migration issue. The Regional Governor of Attica emphasized the need for a national strategic plan to be drawn up in order to address the refugee-migration issue. This national strategic plan must clearly reflect the responsibilities of all the parties involved and also identify the actions to be taken.

The European Commissioner, Mr D. Avramopoulos stressed the need for proper public awareness raising, while he added that synergy between the state and the LRA’s is the key to tackling the issue.

The Regional Governor of Attica, Mr G. Patoulis praised the European Commissioner’s political career and underlined his longstanding experience in European and local government issues. As Mr Patoulis stated, this experience of his is particularly avram1useful in dealing with critical issues for the common benefit of all.

“European Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is apolitical asset for the country. His experience in both local government and European issues is of utmost importance to us. We discussed various issues. I have to point out that many of his constructive suggestions have already been included in our program and planning.” Mr Patoulis stated.

Other questions, such as the need to increase the absorption of European funds for development infrastructure,were also discussed.These funds, which are made available to Greece but have not been exploited, aim at makingoptimum use of renewable energy sources, ensuring solid waste management and also enhancing Attica’s extroversion through targeted tourism promotionand international synergies.

avram3Mr Avramopoulos reassured Mr Patoulis that the Region of Attica can rely on Europe’s support and expressed his willingness to assist in the Region’s synergies with European bodies.

The European Commissioner made the following statement:

“I was very pleased to meet with the new Regional Governor of Attica and to be able to congratulate him on his new position. We discussed many issues that will be of critical concern for the Region in the coming years, in which the role of the European Commission will be central and supportive. We live in an era where the role of the Regions throughout Europe becomes stronger. The EU supports financially, operationally and politically Regions with extensive competences, so that they can undertake part of the responsibility with regard to growth and progress. I therefore assured Mr Patoulis of the European Commission’s unwavering support through the EU financially supported programs. Following our discussion, I was very pleased to hear that Mr Patoulis and his partners have a comprehensive strategic plan for the future of Attica. I wish him every success in his new role. I’ll be by his side.”