[Marxism] Guardian: On the Aegean island that runs on cash, time is running out

Shalva Eliava shalva.eliava at outlook.com
Sun Jul 19 09:39:41 MDT 2015

"'If we have to pay a tax of 23%, I’m sorry to say it, but we will all die on the island,' Kakali says in her office off the quiet main square of the island’s only settlement. The daughter of a fisherman and mother of two young children, she knows the strains across generations.

Food and fuel are already more expensive than on the mainland, there are no economies of scale and little economic flexibility in an island which, even in summer, boasts only three shops, two restaurants and not a single official hotel.

'This is an expensive island. Everything, even milk or bread, has changed hands three or four times before it gets to us, and each middleman has to take a profit,' said Provatas Costas, a 58-year-old fisherman who can earn €1,500 (£1,000) in a good month, but barely covers his fuel costs in a bad one.

...'What is the future for our generation?' said Katerina Fikari, who feels she is extremely lucky to work for the local government in Lemnos.

Some families on the island now have three generations living off a single pension, and many of her friends and classmates have left Greece: 'If you work only to pay your bills, how can you have dreams for your future?'

If taxes go up, even more young people will leave, warns mayor Kakali, who has devoted her year in office to improving education on the island to help keep it an attractive place for families."


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