On Saturday, February 26, 2022, the President of the Greek Republic , Ms Katerina Sakellaropoulou, together with the Norwegian Ambassador Mr Frode Overland Andersen and the General Secretary of Social Solidarity and Fight Against Poverty, Mr George Stamatis, visited the Roma camp in Peleka. The purpose of their visit was to be informed about the construction of a pilot model of social housing settlements with 56 houses that will accommodate about 330 members of the Roma community of Katerini, in the framework of the Program "Roma Inclusion and Empowerment” managed by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and more specifically, by the Special Service: Executive Structure NSRF – Division Of Employment and Social Economy that is the Programme Operator..
The visitors were guided around the camp, talked to members of the community who are going to benefit from this project and were informed about the developments of the project and the next steps by the Mayor of Katerini Mr Costa Koukodimos and the General Secretary of the Municipality, Mr Costa Liakopoulos. The President of the Republic congratulated on the Mayor of Katerini for the whole management of the project and expressed her satisfaction and her confidence for the success of the whole the project. Ms Sakellaropoulou said: "I visited the Roma camp in the area of Pelekas, Katerini, to emphasize the need for their comprehensive integration into local society and also the strong will of the state for this purpose. Important steps towards this scope are the access and stay of children at school, to liberate women and young people in order to abandon anachronistic and oppressive practices and to combat racism and stereotypes that lead to marginalization and make it difficult to achieve social equality. I am sure that this effort will be embraced from the Roma side as well, as it is a necessary condition for its success ".
At the same time, she thanked the Ambassador of Norway Mr Frode Overland Andersen for the decisive contribution of his country in this project and the support in actions against any discrimination. The specific project "Integrated pilot program of relocation and social housing for the integration of Roma in the position" Pelekas "of the Municipality of Katerini" is supported both by the EEA Financial Mechanism and the Greek Public Investment Program. Its aim is to improve the living conditions, enhance Roma social inclusion and empowerment and the fight against discriminations.