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Minister Charitsis: Diversification of Greek Tourism Product Key to Island Growth

Eresos, Lesvos Island. Photo Source: Municipality of Lesvos

Eresos, Lesvos Island. Photo Source: Municipality of Lesvos

More than 12 million euros in EU funds have been allocated to island communities in the North Aegean for the upgrade of important tourism works, with many more subsidies planned for the upcoming period to go towards infrastructure, road, waste management and port facility projects among others, said Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Charitsis during the 14th Regional Conference on Production and Reconstruction in the North Aegean.

Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Charitsis.

Alternate Economy Minister Alexis Charitsis.

Speaking on “Development Policy, Financial Means and Public Property”, Charitsis stressed the importance of tourism, cultural heritage and the diversification of the tourist product, which can support the region financially.

The minister went on to note that over the past three years, the North Aegean Region has received a total of 35 million euros in funding compared to 3 million euros in 2014 which are being used for significant public works including the port at Sigri.

In 2017, Charitsis said, projects worth over 33 million euros were approved including upgrades to road networks and to sports and cultural facilities.

“The Greek economy is now in a phase of development…. with significant attention to quality which allows us to be more optimistic about its viability and sustainability in the years to come,” the minister said.

Charitsis presented the government’s post-bailout development strategy which focuses on reforms that ensure fiscal stability; a new model that builds on and develops Greece’s comparative advantages; and investment in research and innovation and in the country’s highly educated and skilled human resources.

Chios island

Chios island

The minister went on to add that by mid-May, the government will announce a call for the creation of multipurpose parks set to link the sea with the city as well as a call for the upgrade of special inner-city shopping areas aiming to stimulate economic activity in commercial areas with significant tourist and cultural resources.

Indicatively, some of the projects to be included in the government’s development programs include the upgrade of port infrastructure at Agios Kyrikos port on Ikaria, of the Petra – Mithymna road network on Lesvos, of the Limnos archaeological museum; restoration of an Aegean University building on Samos; water and sewage projects on Oinousses.

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