Source: Republic of Greece – Foreign Affairs
A Greek government team travelled to Astypalea for the launch of the Smart, Sustainable Island programme on 2 and 3 December. Headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostas Fragogiannis and the Volkswagen Group’s Director of Corporate Strategy, Mike Stephan, successive meetings were held with representatives of the local administration, of businesses and professionals active in public transportation, mobility and car rental, and the island’s electricity network operator. Also participating in the meetings were the Regional Governor of the South Aegean, Giorgos Chatzimarkos, officials from HEDNO, the Energy Ministry and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while representatives of other Ministries involved, as well as Volkswagen personnel in Germany, attended the workshops via teleconference.
Regarding the launching of the programme, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs for Economic Diplomacy observed that “Less than a month after the signing of the agreement between Volkswagen and the Greek government, and in spite of the restrictions imposed due to the pandemic and the difficulty of getting to Astypalea in winter, we held this official meeting launching the implementation of the project. Respecting the current conditions and adapting our presence to the Covid-19 rules, we visited points of interest for the implementation of the programme and talked to members of the island’s business community and Municipal Council. During our two-day stay, there were successive workshops and detailed presentations of the roadmap for implementation of the programme and coordination of everyone involved. The project is starting with public transport, electric vehicles, the Greek government’s funding programme and the car industry’s special prices exclusively for the island. And of course we informed the residents regarding the project. This project will give us a glimpse of the mobility of the future, today.”