Tsipras and Athens mayor discuss ‘solutions for Athens’

15 January 2016
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Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Friday received Athens Mayor George Kaminis for a meeting to discuss the city’s problems and its decisive role with regard to planned changes in the legal framework for municipal local governments.

“We must find solutions for Athens because it is not only a mirror of the country but also plays a crucial role in the country’s progress,” Tsipras said, acknowledging the need for changes in the legal framework so that municipal governments could manage the resources, as well as the problems.

Kaminis noted the necessity for Athens to become “emancipated” and have the necessary powers to do its job, calling for an end to the phenomenon of overlapping authorities and responsibilities. A comprehensive reform of public administration would be impossible without local government acting as its main lever, he added.

The mayor afterwards described his meeting with Tsipras as “productive” and said he had briefed the prime minister on both the problems and prospects for the city.

He said their discussion had covered planned reforms to reinforce the role of local government and adopt modern trends, as well as aspects of the refugees crisis.

“Basically, we talked about Athens. About Athens’ great problems but also our city’s great prospects. Essentially we covered all the major issues, and talked about the refugee crisis, we talked about issues of social policy in Athens and the city’s prospects for growth,” Kaminis said.

On the refugees, the mayor said that he briefed the prime minister about very specific issues that Migration Policy Minister Yiannis Mouzalas was already aware of and highlighted the need to involve the local authorities at the highest possible level.

“I explained to him how important is the role of Athens and local authorities generally in this matter. We must go to local communities and convince them that they also stand to gain by using European funds. The refugee crisis is not just a problem. There are also aspects of growth for the country,” Kaminis said.

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