Spyros Neratzis makes his position clear regarding the "ridiculous" and "big joke" comments

CORFU. There were many reactions to the comment "ridiculous joke" regarding the volunteers made by Deputy Mayor for Cleansing Yiannis Seremetis at the press conference for the Municipality΄s new recycling platform.

April / 2021

Volunteers at the island's Green Spots were angry at the Deputy Mayor's comments and Municipal Councillor for Voluntary Work Spyros Neratzis issued a statement in which he states that he doesn't agree with the Deputy Mayor's view but, on the contrary, he values and supports the work done by volunteers.

Spyros Neratzis' statement:

I was astonished at the press conference for the new Municipal recycling platform to hear the comment "ridiculous big joke" from the local authority regarding the initiatives of volunteers for recycling and the environment.

I completely agree that volunteerism doesn't replace the responsibilities of the state or paid work but is complementary to it. In the Municipality's website it oulines the basic principles of volunteerism as follows:

The aims of our Municipality's Voluntary Work Department are:
- Coordination and Support for organisations, associations, societies and unofficial groups.
- Promotion of volunteerism, development of voluntary work through a strategy of attracting new volunteers and promotion of best practices.

At all times, of course, with the cooperation and discretion of the Municipal Services

Volunteers never demand to lead nor do they do just as they want - a fact that is always to the benefit of the community - but they asked for our support until the Municipality is ready to take on similar initiatives.

I disagree with, however, and find extremely unfortunate the comments ""ridiculous" and "big joke" regarding the volunteers involved in recycling and the environment. The opposite is, in fact, true when talking about their efforts and behaviour.

We are concerned that following the volunteers involved in recycling, it might be the turn of volunteers in other areas to be called a "big joke" - the Red Cross, Scouts, Guides, blood donors, civil protection, Christmas villages, local councils, Cultural and Sports Societies etc.

We would like to thank all the organisations, societies, unofficial groups and individual volunteers for their contribution to the community and fellow citizens.

We are also happy that, during the pandemic, the Municipal Department of Voluntary Work has the privilege of working with many voluntary groups and volunteers in a variety of activities such as the production and distribution of 3,500 masks when they weren't available, the repair of Spilia children's playground, the National Archives, the entrance area outside the hospital, the Mayor's Step, Make A Wish and Vidos Island.

We would like to assure everyone that, at all times following the principles and values and volunteerism, we will continue to cooperate with and support everyone's efforts.

Spyros Neratzis
Municipal Councillor for Voluntary Work