In an event at Janina on the topic “Citizen participation in the new challenges of Local Government”, attended by Haris Doukas. The mayor of Athens, in his speech, referred to the double challenge facing the institution of Local Self-Government.

“The first challenge is to rebuild the relationship between elected officials and citizens, but also between elected officials and the central administration. The second challenge is for us all to succeed together, to redesign the cities, in this difficult environment of unprecedented threats”, he pointed out and added: “We must succeed, so that the citizens can regain the right to the city and co-decide with the elected in municipalities”.

Then, he set the framework in order to restore the relationship of the citizens with the Local Government, noting: “Let us listen responsibly to the concerns of the citizens, have the problems of everyday life on the agenda of our action, not to decide in their absence and give solutions to problems. This presupposes reforms, ruptures and conflicts.”

Mr. Duke he even referred to the central administration, saying among other things: “The government burdens municipal budgets with 240 million euros in waste burial fees. He threw the municipalities out of the companies that would manage big projects in their cities, big regenerations. For example, I lost Anaplasi Athens S.A., it became Anaplasi S.A. for the whole country. By decision of the government, some ministers, who have never received your vote, will decide on which hills, in which squares, on which streets they will make renovations. All the big projects will be decided by others in our absence.”

Finally, he emphasized that the Local Government is the institution that is closest to the citizen, that is why it must be strong and independent. And he concluded: “We are determined to claim institutionally and financially strong municipalities, present in the digital age, sensitive to contemporary social problems. We are not afraid. We stand tall. We claim dignity. We are building a strong, unifying, self-governing movement, a force for change in the years to come.”