In the past weeks we faced one more culmination of the Greek drama lasting already over 5 years. During the crisis Greek citizens suffered a lot. And even more those living on remote, isolated islands, where –in times of bad weather or due to the collapse of a shipping company- a ship may take even 30 days to reach their harbor!
In these severe times, local authorities in my country have to play an important role:
- Support the citizens and mainly those in need: Homeless, unemployed, children, unaccompanied minors, etc.
- Provide information and technical support to the SMEs in their effort to access alternative means of finance and new markets.
- Implement the necessary reforms on local level in order to improve the effectiveness of the administration and the services provided to the citizens.
- Strengthen transnational and cross-border cooperation with other European local authorities to exchange best practices but also to facilitate dialogue among the citizens as trust can only be rebuilt on local level, firstly among the people.
In addition to the above mentioned North Aegean has one more duty: To handle the humanitarian crisis occurred by the hundreds of immigrants that are arriving every day on our islands, hopeless and scared.
I am addressing you this letter asking for your support: Morally and practically. It is now of outmost important to prove that European citizens have nothing to divide them. To prove that solidarity is not restricted to humanitarian aid or loans and paybacks. It is about designing a common future and working together for an inclusive Europe.
We would welcome any proposal that leads to sustainable results or address urgent needs of the citizens in need. But in any case we would very much welcome your moral support in our effort to restart and support our local economy.
Christiana D. Kalogirou
Νorth Αegean Region-Brussels office