As Vicki Preston reported in June, elections will take place on Sunday 11th October which will effect the way in which Paros is governed locally. We who are from EU countries and have lived here for two years or more now have the possibility of voting in these elections.
However, as potential voters had to register by 30th March this year, you may have to wait for another election if you have not already done so. Whether you vote or not we thought you might like to know a little about each of the candidates standing for the office of Mayor of Paros as, from this year the power of the local koinotitas will be reduced, they will not have their own Mayor and Paroikia will be administering the finances for the whole of Paros.
Recently, Silvia Lubitz interviewed two candidates, Konstantinos Argouzis (our present Mayor) and Dimitri Kavalis. These interviews do not indicate the political position of the interviewer, but show her concerned interest in the development of our island of Paros, as a Parian inhabitant born in Germany.
Konstantinos Agouzis was born in Paroikia, he studied Education and is married with one son. He returned to Paros in 1982. His statement reads:
I do not belong to any political organisation, I prefer to be independent and act as a pivot to draw together other members on the peripheries of other parties.
I believe it is very important to have the collaboration of all the inhabitants of Paros including those who have come from other parts of Europe, especially from EU countries. Those who have originated from EU countries have experienced another way of life and different ways of organisation which can be very useful for us. They can also help us and our island Paros to participate in EU programmes.
Dimitri Kavalis’s statement:
I do not like to boast, but I have been quite successful in all my endeavours so far, I have done that by organising my priorities carefully and by correct choice of my colleagues. As I have satisfied my personal ambitions at a young age, I think the time is ripe to dedicate my energy and motivation to the island and its people and here you have my motive and drive.
The biggest problem for Paros lies on its main resource, tourism. The island is one of the best resorts in Greece, but only three months are productive, while there is a capability to keep tourists here for six or even seven months. That would give a better return for invested capital, it would help keeping prices down and hence be more competitive and assure a longer employment for all Parians. So, careful steps must be taken that will lead to that direction, which will keep the island alive through the whole year:
1. Extension and modernisation of the Airport.
2. Keeping the frequency of the ferryboat connections of Paros and Piraeus high through the whole year.
3. Installation of a biological processing plant for sewerage.
A major change should be to unite all the people, and that includes candidates too, regardless of party affiliations to a common cause - the prosperity of the island. I pledge myself in advance, and I think all contestants should do the same, to support every motion that will lead to this goal.
It is obvious that the people of foreign origin who decided to live on Paros are special citizens of the island. As citizens they have exactly the same rights as all the citizens of Paros. They are special for two reasons. One is that they chose to be Parians - it didn’t just happen to be. The second is that we need to interact with your cultures and learn from your best points and assimilate them in our culture.
I am going to look into ways of employing your talents and, naturally, I am open to your suggestions.
Next month we plan to print statements from the other two candidates Dr Arkas and Mr Triantafilos, a former mayor of five years ago who is being backed by Mr Tragoulis, another former mayor.