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New Athens Mayor and Greek government discuss major upgrades for Athens  

New Athens Mayor and Greek government discuss major upgrades for Athens   1
*Athens’ new Mayor Kostas Bakogiannis

Athens’ newly elected mayor Kostas Bakogiannis and several ministers gathered on Thursday to discuss foundations of productive coordination and cooperation between the government and Athens municipality, to help address the complex problems in the country’s capital and to find ways of improving the quality of life for local Athenians.

Ahead of Bakogiannis’ assumption of duties, the Ministry of Development and Investments discussed the need of a support policy framework for local entrepreneurship and coordination with the Municipality of Athens on issues of the currently active National Strategic Reference Framework. Bakogiannis proposed that the Municipality should set-up a specific development program, a practice already implemented in other European capitals.

The Ministry of Citizen Protection noted the issue of security in Athens, and the proposal to set up a Joint Security Coordination Body, to be supported by the Ministry of Interior.

The Ministry of Environment and Energy raised the need to complete the pending institutional definitions and requirements concerning abandoned properties, the possibilities for their restoration and use, as well as the need to develop a complete and modern traffic study for the city.

The Ministry of Culture and Sports pointed to a ‘strategic highlighting of the capital and its timeless identity,’ the possibilities of exploiting the rich cultural reserve, and the establishment of a working group to accelerate the necessary decisions and procedures.

The Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport raised issues related to the implementation of major projects affecting the city and its daily life, and it was agreed that any interventions and planning would be carried out in co-operation with the Municipality and the relevant departments.

A series of interventions, from immediate implementation to long-term planning were discussed, and emphasis was placed on a long-awaited change in the Exarcheia district, and on a series of projects and actions to rebuild and upgrade the area, and ultimately change its image via a realistic and sustainable project in view of new perspectives and opportunities.

Both government and Athens Mayor committed themselves to a framework of solid cooperation to implement what has been discussed, and to carry out all projects and actions rapidly and successfully.

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