‘Menoume Antiparo’ is all about a group of people linked together by a common aim, by one desire, about citizens driven by the same determination—namely, for everyone to be able to live, to stay, on this island, together. We share the will to fight for both regular ‘everyday life’ issues—that is, for things which in many other places people take for granted—and also for ‘bigger’ issues that may help usher in the island’s broader development.
It is our basic belief that if we are to rise to and meet the challenges of the new era that is to begin with the implementation of the so-called ‘Kallikratis’ law on administrative reform, as many people as possible must become involved in local affairs—people of all ages, backgrounds and from all walks of life; everyone should have a voice, and every voice has a right to be heard. Further to this, our list of principles includes the creation of a local authority friendly to all and open to the suggestions and observations of its citizenry; a respect for people as distinct individuals, not as family representatives equal in importance to the number of votes they ‘bring in’; an ongoing consultation process with citizens and their active involvement in decision-making, to achieve the broadest possible consensus; governance governed in turn by transparency, meritocracy, trustworthiness, reliability and sincerity; and, a love of and for the island, our desire to give to it and to society.
What we see before us are people, fellow citizens—not votes.
We are not ‘professional politicians’, in the traditional sense, nor do we aspire to be; we simply wish to become more involved in our public sphere, ideally helping construct a viable future, with these principles serving as the cornerstone.
These ideals may sound cliché, as, unfortunately, many have become devoid of meaning through so much abuse; however, they do bear meaning for us. Our belief in them falls under what is perhaps our over-arching principle:
We say what we believe, we believe what we say.
We are: Panayotis Sfalagakos, Katerina Apokotou, Vassilis Germanopoulos, Spyros Kambasis, Dimitris Kastanias, Isavella Koustoubeki, Vicky Kyriakopoulou, Mara Loufa, Yiannis Pantelakis, Sotiris Skourtis, Spyros Tsibidis, Nektarios Faroupos, Christos Faroupos, Yiannis Filolias, Bram van Spronsen.
‘Little’ actions the municipality can take that can offer big gains
● We are obliged to adhere to laws, and those that concern people with special needs or abilities are certainly no exception. However, in that particular case, it is not merely a matter of respecting the law; the issue goes much deeper: One can argue that the way this special group of citizens is treated by a given society is an indication of just how ‘civilized’ that society really is. It is of the utmost importance that both the city and private individuals take the necessary steps to ensure the unobstructed and easy access of these persons to government services (e.g. the town hall, the medical office, the KEP), public areas (e.g. beaches) and businesses, respectively.
● We must look into whether it would be possible to have the number of ferryboat crossings during the winter months increased, provided, of course, that the owners and employees of the ferryboat consortium are open to discussion on the matter. In addition, we plan to talk with the KTEL bus service on Paros concerning the possibility of scheduling a route to meet passengers arriving from Athens by ship at night. These actions have been deemed necessary, and must be integrated into a broader framework aiming at ‘opening up’ the island, that is, to provide incentives to people like teachers to make Antiparos their permanent residence while posted here, as well as to facilitate the movement of both permanent residents and visitors.
- The enforcement of the Community decisions concerning the prohibition of motor vehicle traffic on the pedestrianized main road, and the enforcement of the hours when delivery vehicles may use the road to service shops. This action is in line with showing a basic respect towards residents and visitors and, above all, towards schoolchildren, whose safety and well-being are put at risk every day. This would also immediately enhance the image of the main street of the village.
- The aesthetic upgrading of the square. The sole square in the village cannot serve as a parking lot (except in some very special cases, where parking may be permitted).
- A special, well-designed board must be placed in the port area, on which all of the island’s businesses will be advertised equally and their location shown on a map. This must be accompanied by the removal of illegally placed advertising signs from all points on the island, as they do harm to how it looks.
- Policing. The municipality must demand the full staffing of the police station and also ensure that laws are enforced. The creation of a municipal police force, as stipulated by the ‘Kallikratis’ law, must also take place, and can help in better policing.
- Enforcement of opening hours for bars operating on the island.
- Demand from ΔΕΗ (the power corporation) that it reach an agreement with a local electrician so that outages and brownouts be attended to as quickly as possible, as these disruptions in service are quite frequent, especially in summer.
- Enforcement of measures aimed at reduced and slow traffic in the port area.
- The development and expansion of an ‘Accident File’ aimed at identifying and improving dangerous spots on the island’s roads.
- Installation of suitable stands for the parking of bicycles in carefully selected points, such as school complexes, and in other public spaces.
- The upgrading of the municipal transportation system through more frequent runs and more stops, especially in the summer months. The placement of wooden, covered bus shelters, which would also have a map of the island on them and useful information.
- A greatly improved and upgraded interactive municipal website, with as much depth and breadth as possible.
- The creation of internet-based municipal radio station offering information and entertainment programmes.
- Free wireless internet access within the village and the expansion of the broadband network throughout the island.
● A democratic municipality with many voices, accessible to all, close to residents and their needs.
● The encouragement of active participation on the part of residents in issues concerning our island and on the decision-making process. We must all contribute to achieving important goals and to succeeding as an island, regardless of which group wins this electoral contest and irrespective of its political and other beliefs.
● Regular meetings with all of the associations and societies in the aim of increasing awareness regarding the issues that concern them from time to time.
● A two–way relationship and cooperative spirit with all of the local authorities, organizations, societies and schools. The municipal authority has an obligation to be a helper and supporter of all those groups striving for the prosperity of the island and of its residents.
● Providing information to farmers, stock breeders, fisherman and those involved in tourism related to funding opportunities and subsidy programmes aimed at promoting activities such as wine- and cheese-making, olive oil production (e.g. LEADER, agrotourism, eco-farming and stock-breeding.)
● In addition to the infrastructure provided for in the ‘Kallikratis’ law (e.g. infant and children’s daycare facilities, a retirement home, an indoor municipal gym), projects whose creation depends mainly on implementation of the law at the central government level, we deem the following actions as being necessary:
● Precise recording and registering of buildings and land belonging to the municipality.
● Proper usage of the municipal car park.
● As we witnessed during last year’s fire, our island remains unprotected against he threat of fire, and for this reason it is of the utmost importance that a firefighting vehicle be permanently stationed on the island, that fire hydrants be situated at various points and that special roads to stop the spread of fire be opened up in high-risk areas.
● The area where municipal vehicles are housed must be renovated in order to protect them against the elements and so as to prolong their life.
● Twinning with towns and islands, in the aim of working together with them in the areas of education, culture and sport.
● The inclusion of Antiparos in Dafni, a network of Aegean islands dedicated to sustainable development (www.dafni.net.gr), and also in the Greek network of small islands (www.smallislands.eu). In today’s world, problem-solving demands that efforts be well-coordinated and actions be taken on multiple levels and in many areas, if issues are to be addressed effectively. With this in mind, Antiparos must no longer remain isolated.
● According to the ‘Kallikratis’ law, municipalities are to be funded through what is known as Κ.Α.Π. (a special central fund). This means, in effect, that Antiparos must foster close working relationships with municipalities of the same size, as it is obvious that a municipality with only 1,000 residents will find it extremely difficult to compete against bigger cities for the central funds to be distributed.
INFRASTRUCTURE WORKS – DEVELOPMENT PROSPECTS – ENVIRONMENT
The recent commissioning of the project to construct a sewage treatment plant and desalination unit is of crucial importance for the present and future of our island. It is, however, commonly accepted that in order for the quality of the everyday lives of citizens to be improved, and also for all of us to look together toward the future with greater confidence and optimism, Antiparos is in need of a series of infrastructure works and related projects.
- The replacement of the old, outdated water network so as to limit water loss through leaks, but above all for reasons of protecting public health.
- Quantitative and qualitative control of water and its consumption. A systematic and accurate monitoring of the volume of water consumed and its quality allows for effective planning and the prevention of potential problems concerning water supply.
- Unchecked boring must be halted.
- An appropriate pricing policy and proper management of demand are necessary, in order that negative instances that occurred in the recent past not be repeated.
- Every local authority is obliged by law to provide its citizens with potable water. A sample must immediately be taken to determine how suitable the water is at the main community tap for consumption.
- The creation of a floating, mobile marina will significantly upgrade the tourist infrastructure, and it will also serve as a shelter for fishing vessels every winter when it will be moved. We also propose that a suitable structure be erected so as to serve the storage needs of fishermen.
· We need to carry out a study on the Psaralyki wetlands and, based on its findings and recommendations, put an appropriate policy into effect.
· The placement of wires and cables underground in the village will greatly contribute to an improvement in its appearance. This is a project half of whose cost (50%) is covered by ΔΕΗ (the power corporation); however, for many reasons it should take place concurrent to the construction of the sewage network.
- The upgrading of the road network (surface repair, improvements to lighting and signposting). It is necessary that clearly-marked pedestrian crossings with special signs be created in specific areas.
- The possibility of using renewable energy sources must be looked into, in cooperation not only with competent bodies and authorities, but also with the residents of the island. As the infrastructure works that Antiparos requires will be both costly and consume vast amounts of energy, we believe that an integrated and all-encompassing study must be carried out by the competent authority in order that the use of renewable energy sources be maximized in these projects.
- Pressure must be exerted to change the legal framework concerning the operation of the unofficial quarry at Akonitos, in the aim that there be legal and controlled quarrying under the supervision of the municipality and so that those involved will be obliged to attend to and protect the appearance of the area.
- The upgrading and improvement in the appearance of the area of the former rubbish dump.
The table below, which comes from the intermediate administrative authority of the EU region of the South Aegean and concerns the 2007-2013 EU action plan for Crete and the Aegean Islands, lists programmes offering funding in the South Aegean region, within the framework of the abovementioned action plan.
OPEN INVITATIONS FOR SUBMISSION OF PROPOSALS TO THE INTERMEDIATE ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY OF THE EU REGION OF THE SOUTH AEGEAN
|1||14||75||Infrastructures in the Education sector||7,500,000.00|
|2||15||76||Infrastructures in the Health sector||4,000,000.00|
|3||13||77||Infrastructures in the Childcare sector||2,002,375.00|
|4||16||23||Regional and local roads||2,732,863.00|
|6||20||58||Protection and preservation of cultural heritage||12,000,000.00|
|7||21||59||Development of cultural infrastructure||4,000,000.00|
|8||26||51||Promotion of biodiversity and protection of nature||2,500,000.00
As can be concluded from the data in the table above, many of the projects that our island needs are among those included in funded programmes. At the same time, however, it is commonly accepted that it is exceptionally difficult for all of these to be realized in times of economic crisis. For this reason, it is necessary—more than ever before—for all of us to agree on and pledge our efforts towards achieving the projects that the island is most in need of. We propose that a public discussion take place in order that a realistic, long-term development plan for the island be drawn up, with its guiding principles being those of sustainable development and which will answer the question of just what type of development we want Antiparos to have over the next decade or so.
Here is an example showing one possible, general plan aimed at the sustainable and environmentally-friendly development of Antiparos:
An Integrated Action Plan for the ‘Green’ Development of the Island (or, in other words, for transforming it into a ‘green island’)
This type of plan is based on the following four pillars:
1. Climate and Energy: The negative implications and repercussions of climate change are addressed and confronted, in the aim of effecting the transition of the economy of the island to a competitive one based on low consumption of conventional energy sources.
– This is characterized by the greater and wider utilization of renewable energy sources (such as solar systems, biomass, wind energy) for energy production.
2. Protection and Management of Natural Resources based on the Principles of Sustainable Development.
– This includes potable water (through desalination), sewage (environmentally-friendly sewage treatment and the proper handling of waste).
3. The Promotion of ‘Green’ Models of Production and Consumption.
‘Green’ transportation projects (e.g. electric vehicles), as well as related filling stations.
– In addition, there are other ‘green’ actions that can be taken, such as hydroponic greenhouses, and biological farming, fishing and stock-breeding.
4. Reinforcement of the Mechanisms and Institutions of Local Environmental Governance.
– This includes the active participation of citizens.
A major aim of this project is to attract investment for the island’s development, and also create jobs, actualizing the potential of the human resources of the island.
This integrated study and programme can be commissioned to authorities and bodies both in Greece (such as ΚΑΠΕ – The Centre for Renewable Energy Sources) as well as abroad
Funding may be secured through the new Greek development law and/or through the new programme expected to be launched soon by the relevant ministry aimed at the creation of ‘green islands.’
The issues related to the youth of the island are of a high and immediate priority. Antiparos has a lot to offer the children growing up here. However, at the same time, these young people are called upon to meet the challenges of a particularly demanding and increasingly changing environment. The opportunities and environment we provide them with to enjoy a well-balanced upbringing are a major factor that will determine the long-term development of our island. The municipality is obliged to assist all efforts made in that direction.
a. The Primary School Building and its Facilities
- The incomplete and worn insulation found in the Primary School building must be replaced, as first and foremost it is a matter of the children’s health and well-being.
- The old windows must be replaced with new, energy-efficient ones.
- The basketball court needs resurfacing.
- A special surface must be installed in the playground area (the kind already found in the Kindergarten playground area).
- The computer lab needs upgrading, either through funding or private donations.
- A study must be carried out to explore the possibility of changes to the existing school building, so that available, unused areas be transformed into classrooms and other rooms.
- The school and its property must be guarded and protected after school hours during the academic year, and also during the summer season when it is closed.
b. The Secondary School Building and its Facilities
- The creation of a main classroom for third-year junior high students (today, there are eight students in a classroom that measures 12 square metres).
- The relocation of the heating boiler to another area, for reasons of safety.
- Industrial or foam flooring must be installed in the forecourt area, and a section of this must be enclosed.
In addition to the issues concerning infrastructure, the municipality must play a wider role in education-related issues. It must show support and a cooperative spirit towards primary and secondary school teachers and the respective parent and guardian associations. The municipality’s presence and offer of help must stretch beyond the handing over the funds to the school committee, which is required by law. Thus, it is within this framework that we propose a series of actions take place, including:
- The creation of a Antiparos Youth Association, aimed at bringing to the fore and finding solutions to young people’s problems and also at encouraging their participation in public affairs, in the place they are growing up in.
- The establishment of annual competitions (e.g. photography, essay, computer-related contests) and sporting events, all held under the aegis and sponsorship of the municipality.
- The re–introduction and implementation of recycling in the school complexes.
- The expansion of the school library through more titles (this can be achieved, at least in part, through donations from private individuals and private and public bodies)
- Programmes aimed at the inclusion and integration of not only immigrant children but their parents as well (Greek- language lessons)
- The provision of incentives (in collaboration with local residents) to teachers who have been posted to our island, aimed at inducing them to opt to reside in Antiparos whilst stationed here.
The MEAS Oliaros Sailing Club
The continued existence and successful operation of the MEAS Oliaros Sailing Club, despite the seemingly insurmountable challenges it has confronted and is still facing, have made it an example of the wonders that the active participation and volunteer activity of local citizens are capable of achieving. It goes without saying that the municipality has an obligation to stand by this club and support its activities, both in words and in deeds, and must make every possible attempt to help solve the problems it is facing. This can be shown in practice through the concession of a municipal area that would be suitable for the relocation of the club’s facilities.
It is our belief that the municipality must create frameworks and structures that promote culture and offer a creative outlet to residents and, in particular, to the young. It is within this framework that we propose that a suitable building be located or created in order to house the public ‘Multispace,’ in which many events can take place, such as celebrations, lectures, exhibitions, cinema screenings, theatre performances, and music and painting lessons, to mention just a few. The public library currently housed at the KEP can be relocated to this area as well.
● One other proposal is that the area around the raised circular structure at Ayia Marina in the port area (where many summer events are held) be transformed into an amphitheatre looking out at the sea. This new venue will be able to host theatre, music and countless other live events.
- A study will be carried out to locate an area suitable for an indoor public gym.
- The development of the sports installations at Psaralyki 2. The football pitch can be covered with artificial turf, and a three-lane track can be created around it. In addition, a sand pit can be created for jumps, and ramps can be installed for cycling and skateboarding activities.
- The basketball, volleyball and tennis courts can be renovated into a suitable, single complex with proper dimensions and suitable lighting.
INCLUSION OF THE ISLAND IN THE ‘AGONI GRAMMI’ PROGRAMME (FOR ISOLATED ISLANDS) CREATED BY THE NOT-FOR-PROFIT CULTURAL SOCIETY ‘DIADRISI’
The aim of this programme is to promote and carry out cultural activities during the period after the last tourists of the season leave, the time of the year when only the permanent residents stay behind on these small, isolated islands. These inhabitants are often faced with great difficulties concerning a range of issues that city-dwellers take for granted, such as transport and access to medical services, and are called upon to confront challenges posed by factors like adverse weather conditions. At the same time, they try to protect, support and keep alive the look and traditions of their islands, that different lifestyle that sometimes seems idyllic to those living in urban areas but is often tough and lonely for islanders, in reality.
’Diadrisi,’ whose president is Stefanos Nollas, is already active on the islands of Sikinos, Irakleia, Schinoussa, Amorgos, Astypalaia, Tilos and Symi.
Some of its activities are:
– workshops at schools (digital arts, handicrafts)
– visits by guest writers
– contemporary dance
– concerts by the Athens State Orchestra
– cinema nights
– In light of the fact that a related study has already been submitted for approval, and based on the intention that the Community hall and its offices be moved to a more suitable location as the local authority changes over to a municipality, we propose the enlargement of the current medical unit to include the area where the Community hall and its offices are now located. In the event that the relocation of the Community hall and its offices does not gain approval, we propose the immediate planning and subsequent erecting—in cooperation with the competent Ministry of Health authority—of a modern multi-staffed medical building on local authority property that is easily accessible.
– The frequent presence of a pediatrician on the island is of the utmost importance, as soon as one is stationed at the Health Centre of Paros. At the same time, the unjust and very negative practice of draining doctors from Antiparos in order to be on duty at the Health Centre and so as to fill medical staff gaps and similar needs on Paros and other islands must come to an end. This practice regularly leaves Antiparos vulnerable medically and must be terminated using any kind of suitable, legal means and mobilization.
-An application must be lodged with the competent Ministry of Health authority aiming at the approval and announcement of a vacancy for a medical doctor fulfilling rural service duty obligations at the Antiparos medical office, in order to avoid gaps in the duty roster on Antiparos, as has been occurring to this day for several days each month. At the same time, this will contribute to a further upgrading of the medical services offered on the island, which is necessary for an integrated, attractive and safe tourist destination.
– The provision of information to residents, in cooperation with personal development and sports sectors, concerning matters related to the growing problem of obesity (and, in particular, that of children).
– The sensitization of citizens, in collaboration with relevant groups and societies, regarding mental and psychological health issues. These groups include the mobile mental health unit of the northeast Cyclades, ΕΠΑΨΥ (the regional development and mental health society) and the Thiseas Kykladon prevention centre.
– The strengthening and support—in practice—of the work carried out by the blood donor society, in order that a regular blood-giving session be established on our island.
– An improvement of the heliport facilities so that it may be used in the event of emergency (lighting).
– A seeking of funds from the state budget to support the ‘Voitheia sto spiti’ (help at home) programme.
– The frequent presence of a veterinarian—either directly through the municipality or in cooperation with the competent authorities in Paros.
- Enforcement of the legal framework concerning the protection of animals on the part of the municipality, in cooperation with the police authorities. This will be complemented by information campaigns targeted at the local population concerning the relevant population.
- The informing of the public concerning the need to report to the authorities cases of animal abuse.
- Information and awareness campaigns concerning attitudes towards animals (through, for example, information leaflets, talks by experts, etc). Special emphasis must be placed on informing and educating students on this issue.
- Every possible attempt must be made to spay and neuter stray animals and, at the same time, to inform citizens concerning the need to spay or neuter their house pets.
- A chip must be placed on hunting dogs that accompany hunters coming to the island during hunting season. The number of dogs hunters bring with them must be recorded upon arrival, and checked upon departure to ensure that none of them have been left behind on the island.
– The funding of the operational needs of Despotiko.
– The showcasing, actualization of potential, safekeeping and security of the island’s antiquities, in cooperation with the responsible archaeologist and the competent archaeological authority, as well as support for the unhindered continuation of the digs and an attempt to locate sponsors.
– The carrying out of a study for the installation of a fence around the archaeological area, its development with footpaths, routes, signposting, shaded areas, toilets, guard houses. This must receive approval from the competent archaeological authority.
– Every attempt must be made for the creation of a museum, in cooperation with sponsors and other people who have already stated or are expected to state that they intend to donate sums for this purpose.
– Cooperation with all clubs, societies and associations, and especially with those involved with children and youths, in order to transmit and accentuate the significance of the archaeological site and to initiate them in volunteerism. A close collaboration between the municipality and local clubs, societies and associations on issues supporting Despotiko and the attempt to transform and elevate the whole island into a model Archaeological Park and Open Museum.
A proposal has already been submitted to the competent archaeological authority by archaeologist Mr. Kourayios and his team, which, if approved, will be integrated into the ESPA funding programme. In order for this to be achieved, there needs to be a security system in place, along with the necessary infrastructure.
– Every effort must be made to include Despotiko in the programmes funded by the Regional authority.
– The re–publication of the book on Despotiko and its translation and publication in English as well.
It is understood that the most-visited site on the island must cover the elemental needs of its visitors, such as toilets and the provision of bottled water and a snack. In addition to these, one may add an extension of the opening hours, the presence of a tour guide, as well as the offering of informative publications, such as leaflets.
THE KASTRO (CASTLE)
The upgrading of the historical site of the Kastro will have to move along two axes:
Α. Its preservation and upkeep, especially during the peak tourist season in summer; and,
Β. Its development, guided by the aim of transforming it into a cultural spot.
A. PRESERVATION AND UPKEEP
- The placement of small, functional and stylish litter bins within the area of the Kastro and its regular cleaning.
- The installation of adequate lighting that will bring out the specialness and singularity of the site.
- The initiative on the part of the local authority to cooperate with owners of the residences in the Kastro concerning the clean appearance and upkeep of the exteriors of their homes, as well as regarding the prospects of restoring some of them.
- An annual spraying against pests and other risks to health and sanitation.
- The re-positioning and re-installation of the ΔΕΗ (power corporation) and ΟΤΕ (telecommunications) cables and wires along the perimeter of the Kastro, in the aim of cable and wire ‘decongestion.’
- Adequate signposting at appropriate points—especially in the port area—that will lead visitors to the site without difficulty.
- The use of available free areas or some enclosed area of the Kastro for temporary exhibitions of photographic works, paintings, etc.
- The use of a suitable residence as a museum and the upgrading of the building currently housing the folk museum.
- Cooperation with tourist agencies aimed at organizing and providing a single guided tour of the Kastro, the Cave and Despotiko.
- The issuing of an open call to young architects to submit proposals for the submission of proposals to develop and enhance the historic site.
All of the above proposals and actions will, of course, have to be organized and effected in collaboration with the competent archaeological authority, which supervises much of the activity related to the Kastro.
A CLEAN ISLAND
Although there are some who do find it difficult to admit, it is, however, a self-evident fact stemming from the reality of everyday life on the island that waste management is lacking, and that the first recycling scheme on the island was a failure. An average of up to two kilos of rubbish is produced per person on a daily basis, and we have not made any progress on the matter beyond the now anachronistic process of collection and illegal burial at a location that most people know about but no one is willing to ‘touch.’ Refuse collection both within and outside the village is problematic, and is often lacking in organization; Bins are not washed and disinfected as often as they should; and the collection of bulky and other items and branches takes place on an ad hoc basis, without any planning. The Paros-Antiparos rubbish dump can cover the needs of the island only through a modern and forward-looking approach to waste management, which most definitely includes recycling and composting, this being the sole viable and environmentally-appropriate route to take.
Mounds of rubbish and rubbish bags piled next to overflowing bins is a common sight, especially during peak tourist season, but also quite often during shoulder seasons.
- We propose the special creation of a space (with open bins/containers) on public property, where rubbish can be left, and which would be responsibly supervised by a selected municipal councillor.
- We believe that the large white compacting containers must be relocated to more appropriate locations, ones that take into consideration the health risks for nearby residents, as well as being more in keeping with the positive and traditional image of the village (as a tourist destination). Signs must immediately be placed on the containers explaining the correct usage of these compactors.
- Refuse collection must definitely take place at least twice a day, especially during high-season months, and bins must be washed on a regular basis. A team of five employees working on two vehicles must collect rubbish once in the morning and once in the evening, in the village, and once in the morning from the rest of the island.
- We will try to secure the presence of three or four street cleaners, supplied with a complete set of street-cleaning equipment. In this way, all of the side streets of the village could also be effectively cleaned and tidied on a daily basis.
- The placement of small bins along the length of the main, pedestrianized road. Bins will be supplied to each restaurant and café in the village. Refuse collection in these areas must start early in the morning—especially during the summer season—in order that it be completed before the start of the day.
- Oversized and bulky items will be collected in cooperation with the Municipality and in a manner and at a time that will have been completely agreed upon prior to pick-up.
- Out-of-circulation motor vehicles will be removed immediately by the municipality and dealt with in the manner set down by law.
- The frequent and detailed cleaning of beaches by a municipal team will be more effective through the placement of specially designed bins located at the entrance points to these beaches. These bins will be enclosed by a stylishly constructed wall (measuring 120cm x180cm), and special containers will also be constructed for cigarette butts.
- The legal procedure for the removal/appropriate burial of dead animals and other sea creatures will be enforced and observed.
- The improvement and extension of the building housing the public toilets near the port. A study to find a suitable area to install public toilets in the upper section of the village, to accommodate visitors.
Home Composting Programme
Home composting is the easiest and most economic type of composting solution. ‘Compost’ is a natural ‘fertilizer’ produced through the decomposition of organic materials such as leaves, twigs, branches, fruit, vegetables and other kitchen leftovers. It has a high-quality composition and can be used in any type of cultivation. In this way, every household can manage 1/3 of its rubbish on its own, a benefit that is returned directly to the consumer. At the same time, through home composting, the municipality will collect less rubbish, thus reducing the cost of waste collection, transport and placement, and also increasing the lifespan of the Paros-Antiparos waste disposal area. Households will produce compost—that is, good-quality natural fertilizer—and will be able to improve the quality of their garden and plants, protect the environment, serve as an example to others and, above all, prove in practice that we are not only part of the problem, but part of the solution as well. The placement of composters at schools has shown that the process does attract the interest of students, and thus sensitizes them towards and prepares them for environment- and recycling-related issues. The cheapest compost bin for domestic use starts at about 85 euros, but many municipalities have offered them free of charge as part of a pilot project.
The most fundamental factor determining the successful re-introduction of recycling on our island is its integration into everyone’s daily life, through the separation of all of the recyclable materials and their placement in special bins. Only through the continuing education and informing of residents through printed materials and the organization of special activities can recycling be supported by residents. A necessary prerequisite for all of the above is that an agreement be reached between the municipality and the Elliniki Etairia Axiopoiisis Anankyklosis (ΕΕΑΑ) in order to procure the suitable bins and ensure their correct placement throughout the island.
- The aforementioned activities and actions must take place within the framework of an up-to-date set of rules and regulations governing waste and cleanliness in the municipality, with the introduction of principles like reduction (a limitation on excessive packing and single use products), re-using, recycling, composting and separation at the source (in the home). In addition, the manner in which special items (such as those that are bulky, tree branches and twigs, electrical and electronic goods, etc) will have to be clearly defined. Parties not complying with all of these regulations above will face stiff fines.
- Our group agrees with the proposals concerning the adoption of a comprehensive policy on rubbish and waste management as expressed by four non–governmental environmental organizations (Greenpeace, WWF, Diktyo Messogeios SOS, Oikologiki Etairia Anakyklosis), in a document entitled ‘A Strategic Model for Waste Management,’ which can be found at http://tiny.cc/WWFpdf.
New technologies: Underground Rubbish Bins
Public expenditures for rubbish collection are reduced by 50%, since only half as many collection runs are necessary.
This idea makes the sight of mounds of rubbish next to bins a thing of the past. The familiar green bins are replaced with underground ones, which can hold three times the rubbish. There are many municipalities throughout Greece that have already tried, tested and adopted this system, and we can learn from their experience.
Tourism development and the shape that it is to take constitute very important questions that involve and preoccupy all of us. Almost the sum of all actions that the new municipality will be called upon to take will have a direct or indirect effect on tourism. The beneficial consequences to the island in general and to tourism specifically that will come with the completion of the much-needed major infrastructure works noted above (such as sewage treatment), are obvious, though many of these will be finished in the long term. In contrast, the actions outlined below can immediately and directly contribute to an upgrading and improvement of our image as a tourist destination.
– A re-definition and re-establishment of Antiparos’ position on the world map through the creation of a modern and interactive website. We must not forget that the internet today is first point of contact with the island for most new potential visitors.
– The creation of well-designed and up-to-date publications and audiovisual materials (e.g. DVDs) that will be distributed to visitors at appropriate points (such as the tourist kiosk at the port, the Cave, the folk museum, the town hall, etc).
– Attendance at selected exhibitions both in Greece and abroad, featuring the participation of an appropriately trained delegation offering detailed and complete information to those visiting the stand.
– The development of alternative forms of tourism through the promotion of guided tours, walking tours, diving and underwater tours, sports and archaeological tourism.
– The installation of a tourist kiosk in our port area, which will be supplying visitors with information and publications related to the island (maps, bus and ferry schedules, opening hours, places to stay and visit, etc).
– An official request that Antiparos be included in the announcement that the particular ship is reaching the port of Paros.
– A petition to the competent authorities in Paros concerning the creation of a tourist kiosk at the port of Paros, as well as an improvement in the signposting that refers to Antiparos (both on the street and at the bus station).
– The promotion of folk art and local products.
– The construction of a floating marina.
– The preservation and continuation of the positive image created this past summer regarding the cleanliness of the beaches.
– The installation of wooden changing stalls on the busier beaches.
– The opening-up of public beaches that have unlawfully been closed or taken over by private individuals.
– The carving-up and showcasing of footpaths and other walking routes and their promotion on relevant webpages.
It is obvious to most that, for many years now, the tourist season has been shrinking, more and more; and, furthermore, it is generally accepted that an effort must be made by all if the tourist season is to be extended. It is in view of these facts, and in the effort to maximize the comparative advantages that our island does have, that, in addition to the actions already mentioned, we propose the following:
– The creation of an annual three-day festival of cultural and sporting activities in early June, which we propose it include a half marathon (tour of Antiparos), bicycle and sailing races (the latter in cooperation with the sailing club), theatre performances, music concerts and film screenings.
– The offering of an integrated and inclusive package to tourist agencies both in Greece and overseas, aimed at attracting visitors in May and September, in collaboration with the competent office of the municipality. Our proposal might include:
a. Accommodation and meals at reduced prices, in cooperation with interested businesses.
b. The drawing-up of a five-day itinerary, which would include sightseeing visits on the island, and an acquaintance with the local traditions and local products of the island.
Our lives have changed radically, in all sectors, particularly during the past few decades—not only in Antiparos, but throughout the whole of Greece, all around the world in fact. In our country, in particular, social structures and relations at present find themselves in a phase of great upheaval and change. Just a few decades ago (and even more recently in rural areas), society was highly ‘individualistic,’ whilst families were closely linked and ‘collective.’ All of the members of the family lived under the same roof, and there was a ‘safety net’ for children, the elderly, and the sick, within the family circle. Greek society finds itself in the midst of a transition towards adopting a more ‘collective’ approach, as concerns the public sphere.
Today, one of the results of the economic crisis has been the reduction in both the income and spending of the state, and, as a result, the participation of the state in economic and social activity in Greece is become all the smaller. At this point, volunteerism can be called upon to cover some gaps, so as to allow us to make the attempt to safeguard services and social gains and rights acquired in the past. It has been proven worldwide that the ‘social capital’ created through volunteerism can play a basic and pivotal role in economic recovery. Of course, volunteerism does not only have its economic side; its social dimensions are much deeper and more important.
People of all ages can become volunteers—from a primary school child taking part in tree-planting, to an elderly lady teaching traditional Antipariot cooking recipes to a group of young people.
The gains are immense: Customs, traditions all remain alive, different generations come closer together, one person helps the other and everyone together helps Antiparos.
If this were implemented on a wider scale, in all sectors—social, economic, tourism, political—the benefits to all would be immeasurable.
Though we may soon be becoming a ‘city,’ we will always remain a community of Antipariotes.
We would like to extend a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to local graphic artist Tatiana Kontouli for all of her kind and invaluable assistance.