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Volkswagen plans major e-cars investment on the island of Thassos

Volkswagen is considering a major Electro-Mobility investment on the island of Thassos. The German carmaker has reportedly chosen the island in the North-West Aegean Sea to test electric cars, new technologies and innovations in the field of electric driving and autonomous driving.

The investment is in the context of “Smart Island,” Thassos mayor told media after Volkswagen executives visited Thassos on Wednesday. They had exploratory contacts to see if there were any conditions for the  investment.

The impact on the local community of Thassos has been overwhelmingly positive as they see big opportunities for new jobs. since the arrival of Volkswagen executives, who made an exploratory contact to see if there were any conditions for some form of investment in it. Although Thassos is not hit by high unemployment rates even in the winter (from October to May unemployment is below the country’s average while summer is very low), residents are looking at a positive investment.

Speaking to ethnos.gr, the mayor of Thassos, Lefteris Kyriakidis, noted that it is very important for the island that it is in the choice of the car industry – colossus and that there is a desire and willingness of the company to invest in it.

“Data analysis will follow until we reach a definitive agreement. The desire of the company is to include our island in the Smart Island project. It is given that there will be no factory here. The company is gearing up for a test drive of electric cars here, Mayor Lefteris Kyriakides told daily ethnos.

Thassos may have been chosen because it is a tourist island, perhaps our country was chosen for symbolism. The important thing for the island is that investment, if it goes ahead, will create jobs for residents, something that is particularly welcomed by the local community. It remains to be seen what will happen, where and how,” the mayor added.

Next to exploratory talks, the VW executives had also exploratory tours to see signs and conditions for the development of the investment.

Deputy Foreign Minister in charge of Economic Diplomacy and Extroversion, Costas Fragogiannis told state broadcaster ERT on Friday that the talks with Volkswagen have started since quite some time. “we work out a feasibility study, in order to see if and under which conditions the project can go further or not,” he said.

Frangogiannis sais that they are looking also to other Greek islands for the project. He expressed hope that both sides would come to a conclusion within the next two months.

The “Smart Islands Initiative” is a bottom-up effort of European island authorities and communities. It is inspired by the Smart Cities and Communities and seeks to improve life on islands through sustainable, integrated solutions that make the most out of islands’ competitive advantages. More so, the Smart Islands Initiative underscores the role of islands in accelerating Europe’s transition into a low carbon, sustainable and economy.

PS If both sides agree it will be the first big German investment in Greece since the beginning of the economic crisis, I think.

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