Mitsotakis: Historic opportunity for Western Macedonia the plan of de-lignification and fair transition

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The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is in Kozani since the morning where he has a series of meetings and contacts with institutions and citizens from the region of Western Macedonia, within the plan of de-ligation and fair transition, amounting to 7.5 billion euros, for the period 2021-2027 .

“I am here to talk to all stakeholders in the region and to present in detail our very ambitious plans for Western Macedonia. Because there is a perfectly understandable and justified concern on the part of the residents about what exactly this idea of ​​a fair transition is, but because on the other hand a very important work has been done that I do not think has been fully communicated yet, it is an opportunity to talk. but also to listen of course. You know very well – and I want to thank you for all your involvement in this effort – how well designed this plan is. And to say of course that never in history, of any Region, have so many resources been mobilized so quickly. “So we should see this transition as a historic opportunity for Western Macedonia, to drastically change the productive model and create more and better jobs for the residents,” said the Prime Minister during his meeting with the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia, George Kasapidis, in the presence of Deputy Minister of Development and Investment Nikos Papathanasis.

“It is a great honor for me and for Western Macedonia to have you here and for all your associates. For the first time such a government ladder came. It is indeed a historic moment for the Region, but the transition is also a national challenge because, with your decision, the country comes out of lignite first. Two years ago I showed interest in green hydrogen in Brussels and now our country is playing a leading role in this state-of-the-art technology and it will be a great historical opportunity for the country to become the gateway for green hydrogen, from the Middle East and North Africa, which will be the fuel after 2030. We want to bring this date faster here in Western Macedonia and to restore the value chain of lignite with the value chain of green technologies, namely green hydrogen. We have an elaborate plan, called “white dragon”, which creates more positions than we have today at PPC and is indeed much more ambitious but completely realistic. So we will have the opportunity to see them and then together “, stressed, among others, the Regional Governor of Western Macedonia, George Kasapidis.

“The bill creates the structures for organizing and managing the entire program. “We really want to move forward without bureaucratic entanglements because a fair development transition is a great challenge, a great opportunity for Western Macedonia”, noted Mr. Papathanasis.

Afterwards, the Prime Minister had a meeting with the Rector and the Vice-Rectors of the University of Western Macedonia, with whom he discussed the prospects opened by the implementation of the plan, which is supported by the unprecedented amount that has been secured. The possibility was also stressed, the region of Kozani and wider Western Macedonia, to be a model not only at national level but also at European level through a set of unprecedented actions.

“It all starts and ends with the issues of education and training. So one could not imagine a plan for a fair development transition without a strong involvement of the University. And that is why I want to hear your thoughts and suggestions at all levels so that we can then tell you what exactly we are thinking “, noted the Prime Minister while the Rector of the University of Western Macedonia Theodoros Theodoulidis presented his identity University and its strategic role in the fair development transition in the post-lignite era. “We are a new University and we have advantages. We have dynamics, we have flexibility, we have the possibility for immediate decision making “, he stressed.

New jobs and boosting incomes throughout the region

The Prime Minister underlined that the sequence of investments that are already launched and supported by the EU, is focused on the citizens of Western Macedonia through the creation of thousands of new jobs and the increase of incomes in the whole region.

Following his visit to Kozani, Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have meetings with local bodies, youth organizations and entrepreneurs, while he will chair a wide-ranging meeting on the course of de-lignification and the fair transition.

The meeting with the representatives of the University of Western Macedonia was attended by the Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Kostis Hatzidakis, the Minister of State Akis Skertsos, the Deputy Minister of Development and Investment Nikos Papidanas, Theketonakos the Vice-Rector for Research and Lifelong Learning Stergios Maropoulos, the Vice-Rector for Finance, Planning and Development George Iordanidis, the Vice-Rector for Administrative Affairs and Student Welfare Anna Spyrtos

At the same time, the Prime Minister is accompanied on his visit to Kozani by the Deputy Minister of Interior Stelios Petsas, the Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport George Karagiannis, the Deputy Minister of Interior Stavros Kalafatis, the Secretary General of Energy and Mineral Resources Efthymios Bakogiannis, the General Secretary of Rural Development and Food Christiana Kalogirou, the head of the Macedonia Office of the Prime Minister Maria Antoniou, the director of the Special Coordination Service of the Recovery Fund Nikos Mantzoufas, the Chairman of the Board Vassilis Kotronis and the CEO of DEDA Marios Tsakas.

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