Agrafa in Greece Plans to Attract Young Population
Local authorities in the mountainous Agrafa region of Central Greece are considering plans and proposals to encourage young people to settle in its 32 villages. This region currently has the oldest population in Europe, and efforts are being made to reverse this demographic trend.
To address this decline, the municipality is planning to provide 3,000 euros to all permanent residents, both current and prospective, who have a baby while living in the area starting from next year.
The municipality currently offers 1,500 euros to every family that welcomes a new baby, regardless of central government funding. Additionally, the municipality will also cover the expenses for artificial insemination and childbirth.
Agrafa’s re-elected mayor, Alexandros Kardampikis, visited Athens and held meetings with government officials on Wednesday and Thursday to explore strategies for implementing the population growth initiatives in the region.
“Verbally, our positions are always accepted, but when we get into the thick of it, the problems start,” he says.
The financial allowance alone is not expected to attract people to Agrafa. Job opportunities and access to healthcare are considered more crucial. A 2016 study revealed that a significant portion of the population in Agrafa is elderly, with a notable percentage suffering from chronic illnesses.
The health center in Agrafa handles 87.5% of routine medical cases, even though it is located approximately one hour and 15 minutes away from the local communities.
A health monitoring and preventive examination system is under development for the municipality’s residents. This program will soon be launched, involving an ambulance funded by the municipality and staffed by a doctor and nurse who will travel to the villages to conduct health assessments for the residents.