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Ten-year plan for the mountains presented to president

President Anastasiades with the mountain commissioner Yiannakis Papadouris at Wednesday's presentation

The comprehensive ten-year strategy to develop the mountain regions which will cost €150 million was officially presented to President Nicos Anastasiades on Wednesday.

The 18 studies comprising the strategy were presented by the commissioner for the development of the communities Yiannakis Papadouris and ministers and technical committees involved.

The timetable, the proposed projects and the budgets were discussed.

The plan involves mountain tourism, how to keep residents from leaving the region, the creation of new jobs and sustainable growth.

“It is expected that this week the technical committees will make the final clarifications regarding the priorities, and next week the cabinet will be given the full list of projects and budgets for final approval,” government spokeswoman Klelia Vassiliou said.

The process started following last year’s cabinet approval of the interior minister’s strategic plan for the development of mountain regions, which seeks to halt and reverse the decades-long depopulation of the Troodos area by attracting more people to live in the area, promote tourism, balance the protection and exploitation of natural resources and improve infrastructure and transport.

Since 2002, when he was voted community leader of Kalopanayiotis, Papadouris has been at the forefront of the village’s transformation, adding roads and renovating old buildings into hotels, a library, self-catering apartments, a popular spa resort and restaurants. He suggested that Troodos should follow Kalopanayiotis’ example.

Following his appointment as personal advisor to the president in September 2017, Papadouris assigned the drawing up of the comprehensive development model to the University of Thessaly.

In November the government officially appointed Papadouris commissioner for the development of mountain communities.

Until now, each community decided how to spend its budget, but now this will change, and all spending will follow the new national strategy.

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