Mr. Regional Governor, the Attica Region shows great activity and success in matters of culture. Was that a key goal of yours from the beginning?
Was that perhaps the reason you put Harry Roma in this position?
I understand that you are an elite medium that specializes in culture, but will you allow me to tell you that within the three years of our mandate, since the citizens of Attica honored us with their vote, the Region of Attica has done important work in many sectors. I will not neglect to honor, of course, Haris who excels as well as the others who have been active in the difficult and sensitive field of culture. We are indeed proud of what we have achieved in this area. Just the idea that in difficult economic times the Attica Region offers free events and selected shows to students in schools first of all, and then to all citizens, makes me feel especially happy.
Do you think a leader is also judged by the partners he chooses?
I believe that without a strong team nothing is achieved. I even the partners
I don’t call them a team but a family. I have made sure since I was Mayor, let alone now, that every week we all meet together, especially the core but also all the others, whenever possible, to exchange opinions, to listen to the problems they face in their duties and, of course, to I hear their objections. Many times I have followed their advice. I always say that the top of the pyramid without its base does not stand.
The first festival of the Attica Region at the theater “KATINA PAXINOU” in Attiko Alsos made a big sensation and was a great success. Did it come about along the way or was it something you planned from the beginning?
It was something I wanted from the first moment. I believe that the Region of Attica which represents half of the population of Greece should have an emblematic big festival with a wide range of theater performances and music concerts, intelligently chosen so that entertainment and culture go hand in hand. After all, after you have visited our festival you may have heard my voice over the loudspeakers saying our motto: “Culture is the backbone of a healthy society”.
You will allow me to refer to the smaller but very important festivals of the Attica Region that we also created. In Salamina the folk music festival of the Region of Attica “Yiannis Papasideris”, in Megara the film festival of the Region of Attica Park and, of course, the festival in Tritsi. It was our main concern and obligation from the first moment that we undertook to completely upgrade this park. we succeeded with the complete reformation, cleaning and sanitization of all spaces and structures, first of all, and then with the creation of the summer festival “Cultural Week of the Attica Region in Tritsi Park”, as well as with the establishment of large cultural events for the days of Christmas and New Year , Easter and May Day. Our wish and desire is that as many citizens of the Attica Region as possible celebrate there the ancestral traditions that unite us. And especially to the financially most vulnerable to offer a nice festive meal and plenty of joy on Easter day .
The “opening” of the Region to the visual arts with the creation of two exhibitions in September at the Areos Field was also a surprise.
It’s not that surprising. The discussions I have had with Haris and the culture department are to make an “opening” to the whole spectrum of the arts, as far as the budget of the department allows. Here it should be emphasized that we managed to triple the budget in relation to the funds that had the previous administrations of the Region. Especially for the Field of Areos, which is under our jurisdiction and we have responsibility for it, as in the Tritsi park, I will say that for its complete transformation we feel particularly satisfied. We received a dismantled, abandoned and dark den of delinquency and we handed it over to the citizens beautiful, green, bright, guarded. A real oasis in our city. The second visual exhibition we created there entitled “Trash art” also has a symbolic meaning since it is dedicated to recycling and solid waste management of waste – moreover, we are currently implementing one of the largest recycling programs in Europe, having allocated and important distinctions
This is a huge issue for the whole planet. Is this, after all, your big bet? Solve the problem in Attica?
Look, we are not satisfied with the little or the mediocre, because the citizens of Attica do not deserve a little, but a lot. I have set the bar high on several issues and I aspire to be successful in all of them. If you want to summarize, however, in a general bet I would say that given that half of the GDP, according to the OECD report, is produced in Attica we aspire to be the steam engine for the development of the country.