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FLAG factsheet - Greece - Thessaloniki

Offical name: 
West coast of Thermaikos Gulf
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Description of the area and its main challenges

The FLAG area covers the west coast of Thermaikos Gulf including 3 provinces (Thessaloniki, Hmathia and Pieria). This territory is well known for its important fisheries activity and its significant natural resources (a large part of the area is a part of Axios-Loudias-Alikes Aliakmonas National Park and the salt pans of Kitros). The local shellfish sub-sector, accounting for around 80% of Greece’s shellfish production, has significant experience and expertise. Agriculture is also very important in the area and leads national production of certain products, such as rice (over 70% of Greek production).

The main challenges faced by the area include; improving the competitiveness of the local economy (focusing on product quality); creating conditions for other sources of employment and income, especially in the sector of alternative tourism; and improving the quality of life of the local population, especially in upgrading the area´s technical and social infrastructure.

Population: 35 238                                              Employment in fisheries: 533 (3.96%)
Surface area/km²: 388                                       Coastal or inland:  coastal
Population Density/ Inhabitants/ km²: 91        Protected areas: 194 km². 50% of the area is covered by Natura 2000 Axios Loudias-Alikes Aliakmonas National Park and the salt pans of Kitros

Main focus of FLAG strategy

The FLAG´s local development strategy aims to consolidate, improve and diversify the existing economic activities in the area. At the same time, advantage will be taken of the environmental values as a pillar for growth of the region, offsetting any restrictions from the current legal framework for the protection of the area.

Environmental Management (1-5, where 5 is high priority and 1 is low priority): 4
Improving the competitiveness of the fisheries sector (1-5): 4
Diversification into other activities (1-5): 5

Project examples and ideas

Enhancing the identity of the region and consolidating a holistic tourism product

Area promotion activities

Establishing a cooperation network

Increasing the added value of local production (in tourism and fishing mostly) 


Partnership - Lead partner or Responsible Legal Entity: Development Agency of Thessaloniki - ANETH (48 shareholders).

Other key actors/organisations in the partnership: ANETH main shareholders: Local Administration of Thessaloniki, local municipalities, Local Union of Municipalities and the Provincial Administration of Thessaloniki, Agricultural Cooperatives, Fisheries Cooperatives. Development Agency of Imathia - ANIMA (17 shareholders, including: Local Government of Imathia, Municipalities, Agricultural Cooperatives), Development Agency of Pieria - PIERIKI (25 shareholders. Main shareholders: Local Government of Pieria, Municipalities, Local Union of Municipalities and the Provincial Administration of Pieria, Agricultural Cooperatives) 

Links with LEADER: ANETH also acts as a Leader LAG and has served as a management agency for the Provincial Administration of Thessaloniki within the framework of Leader I, Leader II, Leader+ & the Community Initiative. There is a special committee responsible for the management of Axis 4 funds as well as for the selection of projects. 
% of public actors:  25%     
% of fisheries actors: 37.5%    
% of other (non-fisheries) private / NGO sector actors:   25%
% of environmental actors:  12.5%

Number of individuals/organisations in partnership: 90 (i.e the shareholders of ANETH, ANIMA and PIERIKI)
Number of individuals on main decision-making body: 8
Number of contracted staff in FLAG: 8 people making up 2.7 FTE for Axis 4.


Total public funding 2007-2013:                                € 4 990 000
EFF:                                                                            € 3 742 500
Other public (national/ regional/ provincial):                 € 1 247 500
Private:                                                                      € 1 737 102

FLAG Manager: 
Mr Vassilios Papavasiliou
Other contact: 
President - Mr Aristidis Arampatzis
27, Ploutonos street, Thessaloniki, GR - 546 55, Greece
aneth (at)
+30 2310 412050
+30 2310 403593
Languages spoken: 
English, French, German, Greek.