We aim to improve the living conditions in Lemnos and to offer motivation for young people to stay and be active here
Interview with Dimitrios Marinakis, Mayor of Lemnos, Greece
- February 11, 2020 11:30
- Monika Dimitrova
Dimitrios Marinakis was born on 23 March, 1971 in Myrina, Lemnos. He studied Civil Engineering and worked as an independent civil engineer. In 2002, he was elected for the first time as member of the Municipal Council and was appointed as Vice-Mayor, President of the Sports Organization and representative at Local Union of Communities & Municipalities of Lesbos.
In 2010, Marinakis was elected as a member of the Municipal Council for a second time. In 2014 his party won the local elections in the first round and has become Mayor of Lemnos in September of 2014. He was re-elected in the 2019 municipal elections.
Lemnos by night. Photo by Lemnos Municipality
Mayor Marinakis, first of all, congratulations for being re-elected Mayor! What do you want to change in the municipality during this new term?
Thank you very much. Lemnos is an exquisite place, where one can enjoy a lot of things and discover many pleasant surprises. We are very proud of our historical background, our cultural heritage which dates since the prehistoric days, our gastronomy, and tradition, human and natural landscape.
Lemnos has also a very interesting modern profile, as our island tries to keep up with European and international developments, by adopting new policies in several sectors, such as environment, social protection, energy efficiency, animal protection etc. We have already won two national awards for our environmental initiatives in waste management.
Lemnos is currently working on several initiatives focusing on social issues and environmental protection. Please tell us more about the most significant ones.
First of all, we focus on continuing and accelerating the completion of our ongoing projects, so we can start new ones, by taking advantage of several financing programs and by absorbing the maximum possible amount of resources. Through these projects, we can significantly improve our infrastructure, such as construction or maintaining of buildings (i.e. schools), sports infrastructures, waste and water management, flood protection etc.
We want to modernize our infrastructure, improve our citizens’ quality of life and make Lemnos even more attractive to our visitors and more open to the European and international community.
Also, a very important issue for us is waste management. We want to further improve our numbers in recycling and increase people’s awareness of recycling and composting. We also focus on better management of natural resources and on being more energy-efficient.
As a sports lover and former football player and coach what role do you play in initiating sports events in the city? How is the Municipality supporting or organizing different sports initiatives? Do you think that this could be a way to help young people become more active? How do you encourage them to stay in Lemnos?
Our Organization of Education, Lifelong Learning, Culture and Sports organizes and supports many sports events during the whole year. Our aim is to bring young people closer to athletic activity, which is basic for their good health, their mental and physical growth. It is definitely a way to be active and learn to act as team players. We support local athletic clubs and sports academies and we co-organize sports events (in football, basketball, athletics, sea sports etc.) throughout the year.
The last five years Municipality of Lemnos organizes the international sports event ‘Lemnos Ancient Pentathlon’, which takes place every July with the participation of teams from European or other cities. According to the myth, Lemnos was the place where the ancient pentathlon was born during Argonauts passing. It is an event that promotes fair play and brings together young people from different places and different cultures.
With this opportunity, we would like to invite Municipalities from all Europe or any other city that would like to participate in this year’s event to express interest and join us. It is a really exciting experience for all participants. You can find further information on our website.
We try to encourage people to stay in Lemnos and hopefully, despite the recent crisis which caused serious problems, we see a lot of young couples choosing Lemnos to raise their children, because of the very good level of life quality. We are in a constant effort to improve the infrastructures in our towns and villages and we encourage and support in any possible way activities that create better conditions for future growth.
How do you evaluate the initiative of a unified platform for European municipalities and its main goal to keep European citizens informed about what is taking place in the European Union? How can the portal be useful to you and to the inhabitants of Lemnos?
I really believe that the interconnection between municipalities is crucial. We can all have very important benefits in many areas. For a remote and rather small place like Lemnos, it is very important to be able to follow the European developments, in order to get new ideas and apply innovative and most of all efficient policies.
Your website is a very useful ‘tool’ for municipalities and citizens. We definitely need more information about Europe and European Union as we all now live under the same European sky.
What will be your main goals and initiatives that you are planning to develop in the near future in order to make Lemnos a better place to live in?
We want to conclude our current infrastructure projects and start new ones. We also want to improve our water resources, because better water and waste management are among our priorities. We also focus on improving our citizen’s everyday life, on better management of our human resources and we plan more initiatives for tourism and entrepreneurship, social security, culture and sports.
With our decisions, our actions and initiatives we aim to improve the living conditions of the citizens of Lemnos and to offer motivation for young people to stay and be active here. We work in the direction of sustainable growth with respect to the environment and its needs.
Find out more about Lemnos here