Every four years, local elections take place all over Greece. At this time, officials will be elected for the local government of Paros (Dimos) and the Prefecture – the larger region of the Cycladic Islands (Nomos). On Sunday, October 15th, from sunrise to sunset (around 7am to 7pm), every registered Greek and EU citizen has the right to vote for the candidate of his or her choice (the registration deadline for this election was on June 30, 2006).
The Mayor (Dimarchos) is elected by the majority vote of the elected town and village councillors (Dimotiki Symvouloi). He will be the governor of the town, and in our case, the whole island of Paros, for the next four years (starting January 1st, 2007). Since January 1st, 2003, Yiannis Rangoussis has been the Mayor of Paros (see the municipality’s website www.paros.gr and last month’s Paros Life at www.paroslife.com for more details on the current administration).
The Eparchos is the local representative of the Prefect (Nomarchis), the higher-level government officer for the whole prefecture of the Cyclades, the head office of which is located in Hermoupolis on the island of Syros, capital of the Cyclades. For the last four years, the Eparchos of Paros has been Mrs Grigoria Protolati and the Prefect is Dimitris Bailas. The Prefecture is responsible for high-cost projects such as hospitals, schools, etc., in coordination with the needs of the Municipality.
Residents of Paroikia may vote for 2 candidates for the Town Council from one of the two candidate lists of either Yiannis Rangoussis (Enotita Gia to Mellon) or Louis Kondos (Eniaia Dimotiki Kinisi Politon) or can cast a blank (“levko”) vote. Voters do not vote directly for the Mayor, but for candidates on the respective party’s candidate list. In Paroikia, the election centre is located at the First Primary School, next to the Ekatontapyliani Church.
Each village resident may vote for 2 town councillors plus 1 councillor for the local village council (Topikoi Symvouloi). The village election centres are also located in the primary schools (except for Marmara which holds its election at the high school – Gymnasio) and Marpissa (which holds its elections at the municipality building and the kindergarten).
On a separate ballot (psifodeltio), in a separate envelope, each voter may nominate 4 candidates from the list for Eparchos. This is a different system than for the Dimarchos as you can vote directly for the Eparchos.
The current Mayor of Paros, Yiannis Rangoussis, has asked me to join his town councillor candidate list as a representative of the EU foreign community of Paros. As a town councillor I would give voice to the issues that concern the EU foreign community, and would support the Mayor and his interactions with the Eparchos, so that they might better address these concerns.
I was born in Düsseldorf, Germany in 1953. My mother was a school teacher and my father was a civil engineer. I attended high school in Düsseldorf and certification courses in education and psychology in Düsseldorf, Salzburg and Berlin.
I first came to Paros in 1977. I sold my taxi business in Germany and returned a year later, making my residence on the island. My two children, Steffi and Marco, were born and baptized in Greece and attended school here on Paros.
In 1987, I moved to Drios. In the late 80s, I began working with Miranda Tritsibida at her Maistro Travel Agency. During the summer of 1990, I presented my own local radio programme (“Betty’s Beach-Bazaar”) on Echo FM 102.1, broadcasting from Antiparos and providing short news in German, tourist information, boat schedules, Greek recipes and word-plays, and of course, a lot of music. The following season, I began teaching German at the B. Daniylopoulou language school in Paroikia.
During the 90s, I lived in Drios, raising my own children and three Greek children in a patchwork family. In 1997 I opened my own translation office, continuing to work during the summer at Maistro Travel Agency. In 1999 I was certified in Greek Language Proficiency at the Ministry of Education in Athens.
During 2000-2001 I lived in Athens, where my children were also studying. In 2002 I was again teaching in Paros, at different language schools, and worked also as a tour guide for an Austrian company, Gulet. These last few years, I have continued to provide German private lessons.
I relocated my translation office to the Parasporos area. Today, I am not only proud to be a member of the Parian community, but am officially a Greek citizen (since 2004), and, moreover, a proud grandmother of a Parian grandchild.
As a result of 10 years of experience as a translator, I am familiar with many of the bureaucratic challenges common to foreigners and have found many solutions to them as well.
My professional experience of 15 years in teaching German to children and adults can be helpful in communication between the members of the foreign community and Greek and local authorities. My engagements in local politics will symbolize a new connection between Paros and the foreign community and their home towns, providing more opportunities for exchanges of language, education and culture (“politismos”, as we say in Greek).
On Wednesday, October 11th, 2006, I will host an open house at my translation office, Metafrastiko Grafeio, from 8am to 1pm.
I invite all who are interested to come so that I may inform you personally about election details (such as where to go) and answer any other questions you may have about the decentralized government system. By this time all the final information about voting and candidates will be available, which I will also be able to let you have. I am interested in sharing with you my points of view and hearing what issues are important to you as a foreigner living on Paros.
Metafrastiko Grafeio is located 3 kilometres from Paroikia, on the main road towards Pounta/Antiparos, on the right-hand side, just 200 metres after the road to Minois Village. For more information, please contact me at: office 22840-21221 or mobile 6977-352723 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org (the cheapest way of communication).
The electoral campaign information office for “Enotita gia to Mellon” will be officially inaugurated at 8.30pm on Friday, 29th September. It is located just off Mando Mavrogenous Square in the former Diplos Supermarket (next to Rangoussis Bakery) at the start of Market Street, Paroikia. For further information call the Town Hall in Paroikia: 22840-21200 or 21222, email: email@example.com.
Local Council - Naoussa: Alekos Karpodinis (electrician)
Marouso Kontaratou (asst.accountant-teacher)
Giorgos Barbarigos-Papadakis (businessman)
Vasiliki Papadaki (broker)
Ioannis Soulantikas (architect-engineer)
Margarita Spirou (businesswoman)
Maria Tripolitsioti-Tsounaki (teacher)
Christos Tsounakis (aeronautical engineer)
Evgenis Hamilothoris (businessman)
Local Council - Marpissa: Androniki Louka (insurance consultant)
Maria Pouliou-Arianoutsou (statistical services)
Antonis Rangoussis (high school secretary)
Maria Triviza-Fratzi (pensioner EOT)
Emmanouil Tsigonias (driver)
Stefanos Fisilanis (restaurant owner)
Spiros Fokianos (businessman)
Local Council - Angeria: Aspasia Louki (merchant)
Anna Rangoussi (housewife-farmer)
Georgios Rangoussis (pensioner)
Haroula Skiada-Desilla (private employee)
Alekos Skiadas (private employee)
Maria Tsantouli (private employee)
Katerina Hanioti (accountant)
Local Council - Archilochos: Dimitris Antipariotis (businessman-electrical contractor)
Anna Kristalli (self-employed)
Haroula Ksenariou (employee accounting office)
Giannis Rangoussis (mechanic)
Marouli Soboni (private employee)
Georgios Tzanakopoulos (driver)
Stratis Christoforos (electrician)
Local Council - Lefkes: Vasilis Kapoutsos (painter)
Antonis Kritikos (contractor)
Eleni Kritikou (private employee)
Ilias Pantelaios (private employee)
Ilias Rangoussis (building contractor-driver)
Argiro Skordi-Louki (private employee)
Maria Triandafillou-Kidonieos (housewife)
Local Council - Kostos: Dimitra Kalakona (“diethnologos”)
Paraskevas Loukis (businessman-farmer)
Ilias Roussos (pensioner)
Eirini Roussou (housewife)
EDKP Update by Angelica Eder
On Friday evening the 15th of September, the information office of the Eniaia Dimotiki Kinisi Politon (EDKP) was officially inaugurated at Mando Mavrogenous Square in Paroikia and was blessed by local clergy.
Following the blessing, Louis Kondos, candidate mayor for the October elections, made a short speech concerning his programme (see article in last month’s Paros Life at www.paroslife.com) and presented the list of names (43 at this point - though more have now been added) of candidates for the Municipal Council.
Further information from the office of “Eniaia Dimotiki Kinisi Politon” in M. Mavrogenous Sq. (behind Polos Tours), Tel/ fax: 22840-22433, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.