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Tuesday, January 31, 2023
HomePoliticsKalafatis: Greece is changing, Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace are also changing with...

Kalafatis: Greece is changing, Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace are also changing with it

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Speech of the Deputy Minister of Interior (Macedonia – Thrace) Stavros Kalafatis in the Parliament during the debate on the 2023 State Budget

“The discussion of the new budget highlights, on the one hand, the difference between 2019 and today, and on the other, the prospect of continuity, consistency and stability. It highlights the distance between the Greece of the European margin and the Greece that plays the leading role in Europe. Between the Greece of bluff and delusion and the Greece of national pride. Greece that is becoming more powerful, economically, geopolitically, militarily. Greece which – despite global uncertainty – inspires security, confidence, optimism. This Greece is served by the new Budget. And our position is clear: Patriotic, progressive, social”, emphasized the Deputy Minister of Interior in charge of Macedonia-Thrace issues Stavros Kalafatisin his speech in Parliament during the debate on the 2023 State Budget.

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Referring to the development prospects of Northern Greece, Mr. Kalafatis noted that: “Despite global uncertainty, Greece is changing. Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace are also changing with her. They are finally taking their rightful place on the N.A. map. Europe. They are developing into an energy and transport hub. They are becoming an attractive investment destination for giants of new technologies. They acquire a new dynamic, a new perspective.”

As the Deputy Minister of the Interior pointed out: “In my city, there is now a specific development plan, “A plan that concerns breathing projects. In initiatives and interventions in the infrastructures, in the investments, in the extroversion of Thessaloniki. A plan that aims to develop the area on the one hand, and to upgrade the quality of life of the people of Thessaloniki on the other. The Macedonia and Thrace Department of the Ministry of the Interior played and plays a catalytic role in the development and development of this plan. The 2030 Agenda for Thessaloniki concerns more than 30 projects, which will have contributed to Thessaloniki playing a leading role in the wider region of South-Eastern Europe. Some have already been completed, while some are in the works and some are in the development phase: The Metro, the flyover, the regeneration of the TIF, the Metropolitan Park of Pavlos Melas, the consolidation of the coastal front, the 6th Provlitas, the railway connection of the port, the two new hospitals, the Holocaust Museum, THESSINTEC, the stadiums for our city’s teams.” And he underlined: “The commitments made by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis are being implemented. Everything we said is happening. What we say, we do.”

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Here is the full text of the speech:

“Ladies and gentlemen colleagues,

In the previous three years, our Motherland was faced with great external challenges.

– The instigated attempt of a mass invasion of immigrants in Evros.

– The Turkish challenges in the Southern Mediterranean.

– The pandemic.

– The energy crisis.

We are now facing – like the whole of Europe – an unprecedented surge in energy – and not only – accuracy. We know that many of our fellow citizens – and especially the financially weak – are having serious difficulties. They don’t get by easily.

At the same time, difficulties across the Eurozone are mounting even further as recessionary pressures intensify and growth stagnates everywhere.

At this very moment, we Greeks are faced with the challenges and threats of our neighbor to the east. We know that the problem is neither current nor temporary. In ’23, however, he hunts and makes Erdogan unpredictable. And in the face of all this we must proceed with sure and solid steps. To respond wisely and efficiently. To intervene with responsibility and social sensitivity.

It is, first of all, our obligation to count every day and exhaust the fiscal margins to support our fellow citizens who are most in need. And that’s exactly what we do. We allocated 43 billion to support workers, unemployed, farmers and small and medium-sized enterprises during the pandemic. We have more than 13 billion to alleviate the consequences of the energy crisis.

– Emergency allowance for the weakest.

– Subsidies that almost entirely absorb the increases in electricity.

– Increased and expanded heating allowance.

– Increases in pensions, but also a new increase in the minimum wage.

– Abolition of the solidarity levy for all.

– Increase, even doubling the student housing allowance.

– Salary increases for NHS doctors.

– Extraordinary allowance to the uniformed members of the Greek Police and the Coast Guard, who stay up late and risk the safety of all of us.

It is at the same time our obligation to build a strong defensive front against the disturbances in our neighborhood.

– We are expanding, for this purpose, the strategic alliances of our country.

– We have increased resources to strengthen our Armed Forces.

– We are upgrading the ability to repel any attempt at the expense of our sovereignty and sovereign rights.

– We are turning Greece into a factor of peace and stability in our neighborhood.

Ladies and gentlemen colleagues,

Despite the difficulties caused by external crises, our Motherland is becoming stronger today.

– The increase in exports and foreign direct investment break all previous records.

– Unemployment fell five points below where SYRIZA left it.

– Growth this year will be double the Eurozone average and triple next year.

International organizations and global players point out that in recent years an economic miracle has been taking place in our country. They express surprise at the leap forward. They recognize that the continuation of today’s policy means a better tomorrow for all Greek women and men.

Despite global uncertainty, Greece is changing. Thessaloniki, Macedonia and Thrace are also changing with her. They are finally taking their rightful place on the N.A. map. Europe. They are developing into an energy and transport hub. They are becoming an attractive investment destination for giants of new technologies. They gain a new dynamic, a new perspective.

In my city, there is now a specific development plan. Design related to breathing works. In initiatives and interventions in the infrastructures, in the investments, in the extroversion of Thessaloniki. A plan that aims to develop the area on the one hand, and to upgrade the quality of life of the people of Thessaloniki on the other.

The Macedonia and Thrace Sector of the Ministry of the Interior played and plays a catalytic role in the development and progress of this plan.

The 2030 Agenda for Thessaloniki concerns more than 30 projects, which will have contributed to Thessaloniki playing a leading role in the wider region of South-Eastern Europe.

Some have already been completed, while some are in the works and some are in the development phase: The Metro, the flyover, the regeneration of the TIF, the Metropolitan Park of Pavlos Melas, the consolidation of the coastal front, the 6th Provlitas, the railway connection of the port, the two new hospitals, the Holocaust Museum, THESSINTEC, the stadiums for our city’s teams.

And of course what is happening in my city, the capital of Macedonia, is the core of a wider – under implementation – planning that extends throughout Macedonia and Thrace.

In Western Macedonia, the plan for delignitization is “running” – naturally adapted to the circumstances. And with the E65 motorway opening a window of opportunity and development in the area.

In Eastern Macedonia and Thrace with the gradual transformation of the latter not only into an energy and transit hub, but into a pillar of stability and security for the whole of Greece but also for Europe.

The commitments made by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis are being implemented. Everything we said is happening. What we say, we do.

Ladies and gentlemen colleagues,

The discussion of the new budget highlights on the one hand the difference between 2019 and today and on the other hand the prospect of continuity, consistency and stability.

It highlights the distance between the Greece of the European margin and the Greece that plays the leading role in Europe.

Between the Greece of bluff and delusion and the Greece of national pride. Greece that is becoming more powerful, economically, geopolitically, militarily. Greece which – despite global uncertainty – inspires security, confidence, optimism.

This Greece is served by the new Budget. And our position is clear: Patriotic, progressive, social.

That is why we say yes to the new Budget. Yes to Kyriakos Mitsotakis and New Democracy. Yes to a better Greece”.

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