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eitrawmaterials 1Greece, after seven years of financial, and unfortunately social crisis, stands at a crossroad. No reactive, introversive or curative short-term measures and policies are enough anymore.
 
It is time to enter the era of development following a well-thought-out sustainable plan, which will implement a solid vision for the country. 
This plan needs to be executed with accuracy and resolution not only by the Government but also from Greek nation itself.
During the previous years, the challenges ahead of us were overwhelming: 
forming a national energy and row materials strategy inspiring confidence and outward looking in our international and regional cooperation; 
establishing a strong geostrategic advantage within an unstable neighborhood with civil wars and conflicts; 
initiating our national role as the main European energy hub for transportation and supply of gas; 
reinforcing the exploitation of our national hydrocarbon resources;
 supporting renewable energy sources by adjusting our legal framework and establishing a competitive internal energy market; 
adopting innovative measures of support for the socially and economically poorest;
 reinforcing the exploitation of our national hydrocarbon resources;
Given that experience, today we are ready to propose a new holistic development and geopolitical approach for Greece:
1. We believe in a modern Greece, characterised by national self-confidence, openness, orientation towards Europe and support for innovation and progressive reforms, as well as maintaining a powerful social solidarity network: In a Greece of modern progressive patriotism.
2. We believe in Development which is: sustainable (respecting the environment), smart (using new technologies), cyclical (with re-use and recycling of raw materials), inclusive (for young people, women, people with disabilities, etc.), socially and territorially fair (with social solidarity and fewer regional inequalities) and, last but not least, a development that creates jobs, because jobless growth does not interest us in a country like Greece, with high unemployment rates.   
In order to succeed, we need to understand that every competitive advantage of Greece needs to be carefully analyzed and utilized.
I do believe that Raw Materials Industry is and can become even more effectively one of those competitive advantages
Currently Europe is seeking for a more secure supply of Raw Materials. Security means independence. Independence means better prospects for the lives of citizens.
Greece needs urgently investments in extrovert business. In business that can bring money into the country. That can create jobs. 
Such business is  tourism, shipping, IT, agriculture and fishery. But also is mining and raw materials production. Around those businesses a multitude of supporting industries and financial activities can be developed, creating even more jobs and revenues for the society and State.
Mineral wealth of Greece is still underexplored and underexploited. The potential seems to be significant. It could be even more than significant. For example:
a. Greek Industrial Minerals and Marbles are already ranking in first places in the world markets and there is significant potential for further growth.
b. Metallics like bauxite, gold, lead and zinc, nickel
c. Oil and gas reserves have also good prospects
I cannot imagine a serious government, which doesn’t take into serious consideration the development of Raw Materials Sector in Greece.
 
I would like to emphasize that development of RM industry can take place only with full respect of the environment. We need to show to, or better convince, Greek citizens, that mining and metallurgy can thrive with full protection of environment and the well-being of local communities. 
We need to ensure that all operators are getting the social license to operate. And we need to reward the ones who are making the extra mile in the sustainability of their operations. 
And I assure you that currently, many Greek and Foreign mining companies, operating in Greece, are doing the extra mile.
The mineral potential is here, but not only this. I believe we have also very good Universities offering well educated engineers and scientists, able to support the demanding operations and business activities.
Efforts like this one here are contributing to the development of Raw Materials Industry of Greece. They can bring our companies and entrepreneurs closer to the international experience and innovation. They can bring them faster to the production of added value products, to the creation of more jobs.
We need to pay attention to Raw Materials Industry of Greece. 
We need to understand it. 
And we need to really support it. 
We have no time to lose!
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our goal is to create a new development model for Greece, in which the sector for mineral resources constitute a basic pillar with a new economic and investment framework providing opportunities, jobs and boosting public revenue.  
In this new development model, the young generation must have a leading and most significant role.  
We are here to make a commitment to the future:
that with our actions we will make our vision a reality: 
A vision for sustainable development for Greece – in which the sector for the exploitation and processing of raw materials will have a special role to play.  
 
EIT Raw Materials: 1st Greek Raw Materials Sector Dialogue: “Prospects and potential of the Greek Raw Materials Sector”
Prof. Yannis Maniatis, MP, f. Minister of Environment, Energy & Climate Change 
Electra Metropolis Hotel, 23/11/2016
 
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Βιβλία Γιάννη Μανιάτη

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