… this statement is confirmed by the course of development of the OHE Mani program

Ever since our very first issue of MANIOT SOLIDARITY, we had stated that the private sector invests heavily in all areas of Mani, while government sector investments are very rare and do not cover the needs of the permanent residents and visitors who are attracted to our area through private investments. During the twenty-three years that have passed since then, we can only mention one positive change: the willingness of the Peloponese Prefecture during the last three years to promote some public works in our area.
We thought in 2018, when the Integrated Spatial Investments (ΟΧΕ) Program of Mani was announced with public funding of 12,100,000 € as an addition to the credits of the Peloponnese Regional Operational Program (ΠΕΠ) (2014 – 2021), that this special financing could be a model of a successful synthesis of the investment needs of the private and public sector of our region. Unfortunately, in the almost four years that have passed since then, an integrated program with a Development Strategy and a solid Action Plan, has not seen the light of day. For the public technical works which have been proposed to be included in the OHE Mani Program, their fragmentary character and their unrelated form were obvious.This fact, combined with the long delay in the preparation of complete tender documents for the public works proposed to be included in this program, makes uncertain their reliable and successful completion within the inflexible deadlines of the program.
In contrast to the public investment part of the funding of the Mani OXE program, the tender notice for the “Support for the Modernisation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises in the Tourism Sector” program attracted more than 120 potential investors from all regions of Mani. Unfortunately, the budget for the proposals that were to be approved through this program, was sufficient to support only one third of them, as it was limited to only 1,500,000 €. The private investors who have qualified, paying almost equal contributions for the implementation of the tourism projects they have planned, double the amount to be invested in the tourism sector in Mani! Given that two thirds of the remaining 80 proposals that were submitted are eligible, but were not funded due to lack of financing, the need to find additional funding for these proposed projects is obvious. Under these conditions, private investment in the tourism sector in Mani, through the co-financing of the Mani OHE Program, could exceed the sum of € by 2024! We are of the opinion that, by restructuring the program’s budget of €12,100,000, the necessary funds can be found to finance the other proposed projects that have been approved in principle, but not funded. Discounts from the public works projects, both under tender or in progress, could be used for this purpose, as well as other types of provisions in the initial budget of this program.
Every summer, the number of visitors to our region rises, with the return of our compatriots of both internal and external migration and the attraction of more and more friends of our region. Τhe private sector makes good use of this generalized trend of attracting visitors,. The Maniot entrepreneurs use their available capital to establish appropriate businesses to welcome and serve our visitors. However, it is not enough that the natural, climatic and cultural environment attracts visitors; it is necessary to collectively address the technical issues that will turn this general trend of attraction into a steady, permanent state by meeting the needs of our visitors. The substantial improvement of the main road axis, the easy accessibility of our cultural monuments, the water supply, the public infrastructure inside our settlements and cleanliness are the most important needs of the visitors and tourists of Mani. The present tourist flow is served by the entrepreneurs of the area in a satisfactory way, but services need to expand with time and enrich the population of our region. Successful coordination to secure the necessary public investment, whether local, regional or state investment, is the responsibility and obligation of our local representatives.