Greater absorption and prompter utilization of the NSRF funds, strengthening the competences of the Regions and the migration/refugee issue were at the heart of the regular meeting that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held with the country’s 13 Regional Governors.
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, outlining the government’s strategy, noted that the funds would now be linked to managerial competence, namely that Regions that translate funding into proper projects on time would see their responsibilities increase, and if they were successful in their new broadened role, they would be rewarded with a larger share of the distributed credits.
The need for a new institutional framework that would strengthen the competences of the Regions and clarify the operating framework between central administration, decentralized administration, the Region and the municipality was also emphasized.
Talking about the migration/refugee issue, Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed that “the current government is following a different policy. We changed the asylum law and made it stricter. We have a different policy on border guard. We are setting up closed pre-departure centers to control who comes in and who comes out”, he said.
“We do not exaggerate regarding the problem nor do we underestimate it”, he added and urged the Regional Governors to show solidarity with the islands. “I can’t fight and ask Europe to show solidarity when there is none between us”, he added.
Citizen Protection Minister Michalis Chrisochoidis said, among other things, that “quantitatively, this is not a big issue. Above all, we must ensure that Greeks are and feel safe”. He said that 400 border guards in Evros were hired, alongside 500 new asylum officers in the islands and inland and 800 more to guard the islands’ borders and guard the centers.
Minister of Interior Affairs Takis Theodorikakos referred to the new reform framework, which be tabled in the first half of 2020 and aims at broadening the competences of Local Government, following extensive debate.
Deputy Minister of National Defense Alkiviades Stephanis talked about the need to meet the targets set for the settlements and referred to the preparations being made.
During the debate, a fruitful dialogue emerged on better coordination between the central administration and the Regions; proposals were made for prompter absorption of NSRF funds, while the talk about the migration/refugee issue and the need for constant communication and information took place amidst a climate of cooperation. /ibna