Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs K. Fragogiannis’ visit to Astypalea for the “Smart & Sustainable Island” project (October 7-8, 2021)

The residents of Astypalea were briefed on the Smart & Sustainable Island project during a two-day visit to the island, on October 7-8, by an inter-ministerial team from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Energy and Transport, as well as the Governor of the South Aegean Region. The event was organized by the Municipality of Astypalea in the port of the island and was attended by citizens and entities who asked questions to the speakers.

Underlining the government’s vision for the transition to sustainable and ecological living models, the Deputy Minister referred to the progress of the work for the implementation of the emblematic e-Astypalea project. Responding to questions, Mr. Fragogiannis focused on the four pillars, assuring that the development plan of the first hybrid plant for the production of energy from RES is in the process of implementation. He also referred to the generous subsidy program for the island’s residents in order to change their conventional cars with new generation electric cars, while he also stressed the decision of the systemic banks to provide low-interest financing programs for all loans concerning the purchase of new vehicles. “The vision is what has made us the best in the world in what we do. What we, all the institutions, all the ministries and the local government are trying to achieve, is to make this vision a reality”, noted Mr. Fragogiannis, answering citizens’ questions.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Transport Mr. Michalis Papadopoulos, who also addressed the event, noted: “In Astypalea we are creating a model for the transition to green development, with the use of clean energy, but also with innovative custom transport services, through digital applications. Residents or visitors will be able to access transport services upon request through their mobile phones, stating where they are and where they want to go. In practice, we are designing an interactive custom transport system, an innovative project that aspires to transform beautiful Astypalea into a Smart and Green Island and can become the guide for the implementation of similar projects in other parts of the country.”

For his part, the Governor of the South Aegean Region expressed his full support to the implementation of the necessary work for the project, which extends until 2026. In his speech Mr. Hatzimarkos said: “The e-astypalea project is a difficult and complex one but our islands are accustomed to difficulties and it will succeed. For us, the islands of the South Aegean are not disadvantaged places but places of potential; they are protagonist islands with unique characteristics. At a time when the pandemic has caused economic and social upheaval on a global scale, the islands of the South Aegean are once again emerging as champions in the field of economy.”

“We are implementing here in Astypalea a model project for all our islands, which we want to become cleaner, greener and energy autonomous within the next decade. In this effort we want the local community to be by our side, because every project concerns the people who participate in it. With the e-Astypalea program of the Ministry of Environment and Energy, we provide an important tool and we have set aside the sum of 9 million Euros to subsidize the purchase of electric vehicles, so that all vehicles on the island become electric”, said Secretary General for Energy and Mineral Resources, Alexandra Sdoukou, presenting in detail to the residents of the island the criteria of the program and making a step by step description of the operation of the platform

The two-day visit included intensive meetings with executives of the German Volkswagen car industry who visited the island, as well as test drive events of electric cars with broad participation from the residents of the island.

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