Kallikratis reform to give more power to municipalities, according to PASOK MP Panayiotis Rigas
The Kallikratis reform of the national mode of governance in Greece will give beefed-up powers to municipalities throughout the country, according to Panayiotis Rigas, a PASOK MP who represents the Cyclades in the Greek Parliament. Rigas spoke at a bipartisan meeting about the future of local government on Paros, held at Archilochos hall in Paroikia on 18 April (see page 3).
According to Rigas, roughly 70 percent of the powers of the soon to be dismantled prefectures will be transferred to about 370 municipalities around the country. The reasoning behind this move, Rigas said, is to bring the decision-making process as close as possible to those most affected by it. The government’s goal is to unlock valuable resources that lie outside greater Athens and that are being systematically underutilised.
Rigas maintained that a “genuine decentralisation of political and financial responsibilities is required to put an end to this country’s steady decline.” Boosting the role of municipalities will cut down on the costs of running a highly centralised country, he said.
Antiparos is expected to be given municipality status, but will remain dependent on Paros and the regional authority for the provision of services such as legal and engineering that it presently lacks, Rigas said. But all municipalities, whatever their size, are expected to become “technocratically autonomous” in the near future. E-governance will play a role, according to Rigas. In addition, the Kallikratis reform foresees the creation of new administrative bodies that will be under the control of municipalities, such as an ombudsman and a committee overseeing the smooth integration of immigrants into Greek society.