The village of Metamorfosi in Thessaly, central Greece that was flooded in September is to be relocated to a new community on higher grounds PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced on Friday.
Residents of the small Greek farming village have already voted to ask for help in order to relocate. Metamorfosi – which also flooded in 1953 and 1994 – nearly disappeared beneath the water when Storm Daniel, which brought devastation across the Mediterranean, struck the Thessaly region on Sept. 4-7, turning it into an inland sea.
Sixteen people were killed, including two who drowned in Metamorfosi.
Visiting the village, Mistotakis said that after consulting with the locals who have decided through democratic procedures to relocate, he is committed to “building a new Metamorfosi in an area that has already been identified and its appropriateness will be immediately studied”
He expressed the belief that the process can proceed very quickly and provide “a definitive solution for the relocation of a village that does not flood and is permanently in the ‘eye of the storm’ of a climate crisis, which may become worse and worse.”
The PM assured the villagers that the government has no intention of expropriating property. “At the same time, however, I explained that these houses, which can be used in the summer, obviously cannot receive the same care and protection as the new Metamorfosi, a settlement that will be inhabited all year round.”
He expressed the hope that the residents of the nearby village of Vlohos, also greatly affected by the floods, will make a similar decision. “We are not going to do anything as a government if we do not ensure the unanimous desire of the residents to proceed with this move” he underlined.
Flooded village in Greece will become “much better and modern”
“Let’s build a new Metamorfosi, a new village, with contemporary standards, that will finally be safe from floods, so that these people don’t drown every 30 years,” Mitsotakis said.
He pointed out that the Council of Ministers has approved the creation of the Water Management Agency of Thessaly while the payments of all relevant compensations are proceeding. “I know there are delays, I know there are complaints, but I want everyone to understand that it’s an extremely complicated process.”
Farmers and breeders have already received compensation, the prime minister noted, assuring that the support will continue.
“We will continue to be close to Thessaly, we will work with the new municipal and regional authorities in good cooperation, so that the place not only gets back on its feet but also rebuilds the infrastructure that was destroyed and makes them better.”
“The new Metamorfosi will be much better and much more modern, and with the support of the Association of Businesses and Industries, which will undertake the kind sponsorship of the construction of the houses.
“Just as the new Metamorphosis will be better than the old one, the same will apply to the whole of Thessaly.”