George Patoulis: «Through synergies with advanced countries such as Sweden, we aim to exchange know-how and best practices in order to make our cities smarter and to improve the quality of life of our citizens”
The Regional Governor of Attica, Mr G. Patoulis welcomed the Ambassador of Sweden, Ms Charlotte Sammelin who paid a visit to his office at the head offices of the Region of Attica.
Ms Sammelin congratulated Mr Patoulis on his new duties, wished him a creative term and praised his important work during the 12 years in which Mr George Patoulis held the reins of the Municipality of Amaroussion.
The Ambassador of Sweden also referred to the warm and very friendly relations between Greece and Sweden, mentioning the large number of tourists who visit our country every year, the strong presence of Greek scientists in Sweden and the fact that a growing number of Swedish companies have their head offices in Greece.
The Regional Governor of Attica thanked the Swedish Ambassador for her visit and noted that Sweden is a country advanced in many areas such as technology, social state and local government.
In this context, the Regional Governor of Attica described the meeting as particularly useful and constructive, and stated that Greece and Attica, in particular, could benefit from Sweden's know-how and best practices on various issues for the benefit of local communities and citizens.
"I have visited Sweden many times and I have been impressed by its high quality of life and its standard of living", Mr Patoulis said, adding:
"Attica is going through an extroversion period and is slowly but steadily taking steps to attract investment and to restore growth, by making the most of the Region’s comparative advantages such as Attica's culture, history, tourism and its natural beauty."
The meeting focused on exploring possible ways of cooperation between Attica and Sweden on areas of environmental protection, sustainable development, citizens' health protection, as well as on identifying all potentialsynergiesin the fields of culture, tourism, and the modernization of transport at local level.
Particular reference was made to the critical issue of waste management. Thereupon, Mr Patoulis pointed out that Attica falls far short of a modern management plan on recycling, which, he added, has been set as a major priority on the new Attica Region's administration program.
"In this context, and to mark our policy, we have designated 2020 the year of recycling," the Regional Governor of Attica said, whilst he stressed the following:
"We would be interested in receiving best practices from Sweden, the country that has taken very significant steps in this field by applying modern methods, of which I'm personally aware, particularly in relation to environmental protection issues. We would be truly interested in the exchange of know-how with an emphasis on alternative forms of energy, green energy, the application of electric power, and electronic governance.
In this regard, it would be fruitful to consider working with the Stockholm Region, for regular consultation and joint planning for development actions."
The Regional Governor of Attica further emphasized his priority to strengthen the tourist capital of Attica through optimal exploitation of the islands and the coastal front, which, he said, can act as a catalyst for attracting investment.
For her part, the Swedish ambassador welcomed warmly Mr Patoulis’ proposal to launch cooperation on technical issues such as waste management, transport, use of renewable energy sources, noting that in Sweden the results of the practices applied on these fields are very satisfactory and efficient.
At the close of their meeting, the Regional Governor of Attica made the following statement: "Through constructive synergies with advanced and modern countries such as Sweden, we aim to exchange know-how and best practices in order to make our cities smarter and to improve the quality of life of our citizens».