46th Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Enlargement, Southern Europe and the Mediterranean", August 30th - September 3rd, 2006, Volos, Greece
No concise legal framework exists in Greece which foresees any kind of Metropolitan Governance. Several organisms exist, mostly owned / controlled by the state, which handle parts of the metropolitan activity (OASA - public transports, EYDAP - drinking water, sewage, ESDKNA - garbage manage, etc), but nobody is controlling - coordinating. The existence of the Super-Prefecture of Athens - Piraeus (which is composed of 2 separate Prefectures - Athens and Piraeus), does not seem to help at all, as it doesn't have practically any competences, but it's compressed between the Municipalities on one side and the Region / Central Government on the other. The last years several models have been proposed - Metropolitan Prefecture, Metropolitan Municipality, Metropolitan Associations, etc, but no decision has been made yet. In the present paper i will show that a hybrid of Metropolitan Governance already exists in the Greater Athens Area and than only minor legal adjustments are needed to achieve the goal. The creation of ASDA in 1988 by the nine municipalities of West Athens, who cover a large part of the metropolitan area, showed firstly that the municipalities had perceived that some problems are common and they have to be dialled commonly and secondly the existing possibilities. In his 18 years of functioning ASDA can be considered as a public organisation with metropolitan competences, although that is not explicit in the legislation about development associations, because he advanced solutions to problems concerning the whole West Athens Area. I will show how the voluntarily cooperation of the 9 municipalities, in the beginning, 10 after, allowed them to face problems, which could have been faced only at a metropolitan level. In conclusion I will show that what is needed is not a new legal entity, but the reinforcement of existing legal forms of municipal cooperation and of the Prefecture and the absorption of the existing metropolitan wide organisations by the Prefecture.