The Programme for the Green Communities, Anavra and… the Mayor of Almyros

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The issue of Anavra’s non-inclusion in the Programme for Green Communities because of mishandling on the part of the municipality of Almyros became a hot topic lately, in local and nationwide scale. The Mayor of Almyros in his public placements (radio and press), whenever he appeared, tried to alter the facts.  Due to the seriousness of the issue for us here in Anavra, but also generally as a further symptom of serious corruption of the Greek public sector which troubles all of us here for decades, if not centuries, we think we should give some explanation.

1. In regard to the program “Green Rural and Island Communities- New Development Model”. It is a program launched by the ministry in co-operation with Cres. Anavra participated in this program with a proposal of approximately 10 million euros, which had been prepared by a study group on behalf of the Municipality of Almyros with our practical support both in the drafting stage, as well as before the beginning of the study (March 2012) with public statements (refer to press and our action/ ANAVRA-ZO supports the development program for Anavra). Therefore, the Mayor’s appeals to ‘’the last naysayers…to contribute to the titanic effort ’’ are flimsy.

The proposal based on the 14 completed studies-and not preliminary ones as the Mayor claims- that Anavra’s Community had filed in December 2010 in Almyros’ Municipality, shortly before its incorporation, included the following projects:

  • Heating system energized by biomass (manure and harvest residues)
  • Sewerage
  • Replacement of external water supply
  • Small hydroelectric factory
  • Bioclimatic Park of 8 acres
  • Flood control projects
  • Energy upgrade in public buildings (Primary School, Kindergarten, Multipurpose Hall, Community Store)
  • etc.

Also,

  • Energy upgrade of individual housing ( almost 120 residents after a popular assembly signed an application-declaration)

After that, and while Anavra’s inclusion in the programme was certain, even by the official services as we were told retrospectively, because the proclamation  delineated our village, the news that Anavra was excluded came as a shock. Why? Because “the proposals of the Municipalities…Almyros…didn’t meet the requirements of formal completeness and therefore not proceeded to the stage of substantive evaluation” (Decision validation results etc. no.prot.249/EFD CRES “EPPERAA”). And more specifically “Anavra’s proposal was declined in the Standard Occupancy because according to the Evaluation Committee (2nd Session of Evaluation Committee) the electronic submission was made after the expiration date”. Thus a great opportunity was lost to complete a quest that began in 1991 with the aim to enable our village become autonomous financially, socially, culturally. To consolidate the image of a community that could be a flagship of development-beacon and hope-in another Greece that will slowly begin to emerge from today’s grim reality.

All this, unfortunately for Almyros’ Mayor, can be proven with documents, as shown above, so whatever he falsely claims whenever he appears in the media is totally flimsy. Anavra’s residents know very well what they have lost from this shameful act of the municipality, as individuals and as a community. It is a loss that our village will pay for years. The residents however know this and do not forget it.

2. But this is not the only point in which the Mayor of Almyros lies regarding Anavra’s issues. A very important issue for us is the yield of revenue to the Local Community from the Wind Farm with which he could solve many everyday problems…and leave this municipality to its peace (!). But the Mayor has not given a single penny to Anavra up to now, despite the decisions of the local community and the protests, both towards the municipality and the competent authorities, and his promises to the People’s Assembly in the village that he will not only yield 80% as the law says but 100% of revenue.

Another relevant issue related to the two under construction wind farms, which has taken the form of a scandal, is the promise of the company that has undertaken their construction to make projects at a cost of 200,000-250,000 euros at the suggestion of the Local Council. The project suggested by decision of the TS was the paving of the main rural road “Twelve Apostles-Moria Castle. Instead, the Almyros’ City Council decided with this money to execute the project “Replacement of external water supply”, not by the integrated study that the former Community of Anavra had filled, but by a new study, according to which the transfer of water will be done through a NATURA region, which will cause many problems in the implementation of the project and major environmental disasters. Note that for this Municipality’s decision the Local Council has voiced many objections and ruled negatively.    

3. On this occasion, since another year has passed-the third of the Mayor’s term- we would like to remind the things that he…‘’did’’ regarding Anavra. The only thing one could say that still works is the removal of waste, which couldn’t have been possible otherwise. Everything else is either underperforming or not working at all.

  • The cleanliness of public spaces is poorly done and after protests
  • The cleanliness of public buildings (Community Store, Multipurpose Hall, Library, Museum, has never been done in three years
  • Not a single penny allocated for maintenance and operating expenses of the Environmental Cultural Park, Museum, Library of Multipurpose Hall
  • Finally the Local Council and the President-and at their face the local community-collects the depreciation of competent deputy mayors when they visit our village.

In a few months we have municipal elections. This is the chance that the residents have on one hand to list the responsibilities to those who are blameworthy and on the other to choose people who will be honest with them, and will treat them with respect. The respect they deserve because they have made this little corner of Greece known even outside the Greek borders.