Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met with visiting Volkswagen AG CEO Herbert Diess at the island of Astypalea on Wednesday.
The Cycladic island is set to become a model island for climate-neutral mobility in collaboration with the Volkswagen Group.
During a brief meeting ahead of a scheduled event about the green project, Diess told the Greek premier that he visited the power production facilities and their diesel generators there. He also mentioned that he was briefed on the changes the project will affect on the island.
Later, at the "Astypalea: Smart & sustainable island - Progress Report, from vision to action" presentation, Diess stressed that "Astypalea is Europe's future workshop in phasing out lignite dependency."
The aim of this project is to study, in real time, how to encourage residents to incorporate e-mobility in daily routines, he explained, and which incentives they need to transition to a sustainable lifestyle. The results from Astypalea will help accelerate the transformation to sustainable mobility with green energy in Greece, he noted.
In a global scale, climate protection and the transition to sustainable mobility are of great interest to the automobile manufacturer, Diess said, as "Volkswagen is at the forefront of this change, offering a full range of sustainable travel, from cars to sustainable energy charging solutions."
"Astypalea can become a model of rapid transformation enhanced by close cooperation among governments and businesses," he stressed.
The Astypalea project is "a window to a cleaner, greener future," Mitsotakis observed, addressing the event, and he underlined that tackling the "unprecedented climate change crisis is urgent."
Greece is already launching the process of ending dependency on lignite for power production, he added, and is also creating "green jobs."
During his visit to the island, Mitsotakis attended the delivery of 8 electric cars and 12 chargers, a gift of the company, to the police and the Port Authority of the island.
A memorandum between the company and Greece to establish a groundbreaking mobility system on the island was signed in November 2020. The project is expected to initially run for six years, with energy primarily generated from local green power sources (solar and wind).