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  Nr. 109 - November 2007
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It’s All Greek to Me!

by Iris Papathanasiou, November 2007
As this is only a summary of the local news, please let us know if you want more detail on a specific article. If many readers request the same article, we will translate and publish it in the next issue or we can arrange translation for a small fee on an individual basis.


No 286 - 22 Sep 07

Article analyzing the results of the national elections. Giannis Vroutsis and Aria Manoussou are the New Democracy MPs representing the Cyclades and Panagiotis Rigas the MP of PASOK. On Paros, the New Democracy Party got 44.59%, which was 5% less than in 2004, whilst the percentage in favour of PASOK also decreased by 1.44%. There was an increase in the voters for LAOS and the Communist Party. Yannis Chomatas, who has been an MP for the past 18 years, was not re-elected.
The Commercial Association of Paros and Antiparos is organizing the first conference for commerce in the Cycladic islands on 14/10 at the Pandrossos Hotel. The main issues that will be discussed are: illegal commerce, boat connections, the appeal to the government to respect the island’s particularity and impose less tax for the islanders, and the regulations that must be implemented so that the opening of supermarkets and chain stores does not damage small businesses.
A celebration dedicated to Asia Minor was held for the third year running in the village of Aspro Chorio. The cultural association “Atlantis” and the Music Dance Group of Naoussa organized an evening on 9/9, inviting the Cultural Association of Nea Ionia to participate. The Dance Group presented traditional dances from the region of Asia Minor and the choir sang distinctive songs under the direction of Fenia Theofilou.
Adults and children are invited to participate in the choral singing lessons organized by the Municipal Music School every Saturday.
The Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and the Cultural Heritage organized a photography exhibition at the Primary School of Antiparos, entitled “The things I like about my island, what I want to keep, and what I want to change”.
Following many accusations and appeals, 43 citizens of Kamari were eventually successful in preventing the operation of an illegal water drill in their neighbourhood which was had decreased the water level in their wells.

No 287 - 29 Sep 07
Lessons began at the High School of Paroikia under difficult conditions as the prefabricated classrooms that were ordered to meet the needs of the school have not yet been installed. The Eparcheio of Paros and Antiparos, which is in charge of the issue, proposed that an appeal should be sent directly to the Ministry of Education demanding a solution as the 305 students of the High School are forced to use the workshops and common rooms to attend their lessons.
Two days after the national elections, Mr Andreopoulos resigned from his position as President of the Health Centre. He is the second president to resign from this post during the four year term. According to his statements, he feels angry and let down since there was no political volition to solve the problems he had repeatedly reported. He decided to resign after the elections as he did not want to challenge the New Democracy government that had appointed him. In his announcement to the press he states that under the present circumstances the Managing Committee of the Health Centre does not have the legal power to solve many of the problems. The biggest drawback was the decision of the government to transfer the Cycladic Council to Piraeus.
The European Centre of Translation and Literature (EKEMEL) is holding a two-day international translation conference at the House of Literature in Lefkes on 29-30/9.
In 2003 a group of citizens travelled on a sailing boat to Paros from the island of Hvar in Croatia, following the same route the ancient Parians had taken to their island where they formed a colony. A delegation from Paros returned the visit at the beginning of September. During their stay, the President of the Democracy of Croatia and the Municipality of Stari Grad organized events to celebrate the anniversary of the ancient town of Pharos, established 2,391 years ago.
The Municipal Art Workshop is starting art lessons for children and adults and students who wish to prepare for the entry examinations to the University of Fine Arts. The Municipal Music School is giving lessons in Paroikia, Naoussa, Lefkes, Marpissa, Angairia and Antiparos. Anyone interested in joining the municipal orchestral band will receive free tuition.
On 24/9 a fire broke out at the electricity power station in Naoussa. The fire was successfully extinguished. Fortunately it was far from where the petrol and oil are stored.
The plan for the purchase of two portable desalination units to be placed in the area of Parasporos was agreed. The units will cost 1,582,000 euro and will each have a capacity of 1,250m3. The project is funded by the emergency funds of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in order to assist the islands to confront water shortages.
On 23/9 the members of the Paros Tennis Club elected the new committee. The new President is Themis Kalpatsoglou, Vice President is Giorgos Dafereras, Gen.Secretary Stamatis Delavinias, General Chief Ines Parai, Special Secretary Michelle Georgarou, Treasurer Chrysostomos Kambouroglou and in charge of purchases Vassilis Aspiotis.
The members of the Town Council agreed to the first phase of the General Building Plan. The local councils and the associations “Archilochos” and “Friends of Paros” submitted their proposals for the design of the second phase of the plan. According to Mayor Vlachogiannis it is important to concentrate on confronting the building activity in rural areas, to keep in mind the island’s water capacity, and to protect the beaches and other areas which are of particular environmental significance from construction.

No 288 - 6 Oct 07
Even though the contractor was supposed to have finished the Technical Lyceum (TEE) in time for the beginning of the school year, it seems that the students will have to wait at least two months before they can use the new school building.
The construction of a new airport on Paros was discussed at the town council on 3/10, upon the request of Louizos Kondos, the Leader of the Minority, who asked for information concerning the progress of the procedures.
Around 100 people attended the fundraising gala of PAWS that was held in the hotel Paros Agnanti on 30/9. The buffet was prepared by the restaurant Happy Green Cows and the Maria Patisserie. A bazaar followed with goods offered from shops all over Paros. The amount of 3,000 euro was raised and will be used to sterilize stray cats and dogs and to find homes for them.
120 musicians who play traditional island instruments participated in the 6th Pan-Cycladic meeting of Folk Music between 28-30/9.
The General Secretary of the South Aegean Precinct released an announcement informing the local authorities about the procedures that are beginning for accession to the 4th European Funding Programme. Local authorities are asked to submit a list of projects that have been prepared for this funding. The proposals should concern projects of infrastructure that exceed three million euro (except in the case of environmental projects where smaller budgets are accepted).
The tennis tournament organized by the Paros Tennis Club was successfully completed on 30/9. A team from Holland participated as well as athletes from Athens.


No 73 – Oct 2007

In the last few years there are many problems which have grown due to the development of tourism, the biggest of which is the traffic circulation in Paroikia. The article proposes the construction of a second main road, plans for which were started 10 years ago under Mayor Argouzis but have not been developed since.
The Union of Municipalities agreed to form a committee that will consist of members from both Nomarchies of the Aegean, the South Aegean Precinct, and the Dodecanese Union of Municipalities in order to improve communication and cooperation on issues that interest all the islands of the Aegean.
Dimitra Skandali presented a photography exhibition at the Galerie Pondoporos in Naoussa during September. Her intent is to give another dimension to simple, pointless or accidental daily images, proving that beauty is everywhere and in everything.
The project at the port of Pounta was tested during the strong north winds. According to boat agent Abraham Skiadas, and the captain of the ferry boat, corrections must be made on the northern part, so as to protect the port efficiently and to allow the connections with Antiparos to continue even when the winds are strong. The captain was present at the meeting of the Eparcheio Council on 25/9 where the members discussed the extension of the project’s deadline, but he was not given a chance to explain his observations on improving the works at the port.


No 75 – 15 Sep 07

During the first town council meeting that was held after the departure of Mayor Rangoussis, with the new Mayor Vlachogiannis and Antonis Arkas as President of the Town Council, the dialogue was consenting and all decisions were unanimous. It seemed clear that both the majority and minority members wanted to reach agreement on every issue.


No 29 – Oct 07

Evripidis Akalestos, who has been involved in all the procedures for the purchase of the air ambulance, is interviewed in depth about all aspects of this subject. Since the plane first landed on Paros on 1/7/07, it has performed 19 emergency flights, in cooperation always with the doctors of the Health Centre.
Spyros Lavdas, the lawyer who represents Yannis Levendakis in the case against the President of Antiparos, Mrs Barbara Maneta, accuses all the responsible authorities for not implementing the decisions of the court and for not enforcing the law, especially regarding the fact that Mrs Maneta still refuses to publicize the names of the citizens who enrolled in Antiparos before the local elections.
After his appointment as President of the Town Council (unanimously agreed to by the members of the council), Antonis Arkas talks about his plans to improve the communication of the Town Council with the local village councils and citizens. His intention is to organize meetings at the local councils with the participation of citizens. He believes the council members should become more active in listening and understanding the needs of their local community, as they are the key link between the citizens and the authority. Finally he appeals to younger citizens to enroll in the Youth Council, as their fresh ideas and views will be a great asset to the municipality.
Kostas Rokonidas states that the results of the national elections were very satisfying for the Communist Party, locally and nationally, as its power increased by 38% across the country and by 70% in the Cycladic region. This increase has given the members a feeling of greater responsibility and sensitivity towards the needs of the working class, the younger generation, and senior citizens. Locally the party will continue to tackle the issues of boat connections, education, the medical system and the environment.
In an interview with the new President and the new Secretary of the Union of Hotels, Mr Karpodinis and Mr Bafitis, they underline the main issues that have to be confronted, such as the need for the construction of an international airport, the incredible increase in the water bills that the hotels had to pay this year, and the need to unite all the local associations involved in tourism for better results in designing a general policy for tourism.
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