Some personal comments on how things are going on Thassos. Posted by "SOS Kazaviti"

Just another Scandal | Building Scandal | Village Boulevard | Treasure Hunters

Just another Scandal:

Greece has got a record of ineffective handling European taxpayers contributions to the development of regions that are lagging behind - like our own region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace. The image of Greece is also affected by scandals of bribery and corruption.
And discrimination of foreigners in this classical "country of hospitality" is painfully felt by many of those who have opted to live here trying to contribute to the culture and economy of their new home land..
The regional development agency of Kavala (Anaptyxiaki Kavalas) is responsible for a fair and beneficial allocation of subsidies under the
EU LEADER PLUS
Programme also on Thassos.
It was decided by the Greek Ministry of Agricultural Development being the umbrella authority for LEADER PLUS, to support selected proposals for the erection of tourist facilities in inland villages and for the promotion of traditional local products. Last year grants were limited to building projects within the official village boundaries. This year that restriction was withdrawn without providing any reason. How come? The PASOK-elected chairman of the village council and his son in law are applying for 60 % subsidies for the erection of a hotel outside the boundaries of Kazaviti that would destroy one of the most beautiful landscapes near the village. This open woodland is recognized as the irreplaceable habitat of eight protected vertebrate species on Annex IV of the EU Habitat Directive 92/43/EEC. Three of these species are classified as particularly vulnerable and therefore are also listed on Annex II of the same Directive. There is an archaeological site of Roman antiquities that has never been explored adequately. The rural tourism potential of Kazaviti -- “nature + tradition” would greatly suffer from this development that is aimed at providing benefit just to the one family (if at all..) and would bring only disadvantages to the entire village community. So what is happening?

posted May 2005



Building Scandal:

Engage an architect with good connections to the planning authorities, ...amass quickly tons and tons of concrete that never can be moved again, ...ignore the concerns and complains of the local people, ...demonstrate full disregard of any conservation order, ... endanger and cut into the village' s symbol and monument - the ancient cypress trees by axe and chainsaw, - look for a potent buyer while the three massive building blocks are still under construction, ...and then disappear again.. that is the scenario of "village development" at Kazaviti on Thassos Island, Greece, in 2005.

To be continued.

posted May 2005 (pictures below are linked)


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Village Boulevard:

Still the village is lacking any adequate infrastructure that is obligatory under EU rules, but regardless the flow of funds that is pouring out of the European Community's Horn of Plenty onto the "underdeveloped region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace" is being channeled to projects that rather look like personal playing-fields of the official planners - without any cost-effective, practical function: for example 30.000 EUR for a stepped walkway with (still not working) boulevard illumination, built of concrete stained pink and further embellished by a stone slate layer, with dangerous foot traps - open gutters which stay dry because the water to be channeled off still runs uncontrolled over the whole place. Those visitors to Kazaviti wishing to inspect this wonder work of rural planning and engineering, should drive up to the very limited parking facility at the village centre, because from down below, from the asphalt road access is narrow and too dangerous, as no protective balustrade has been provided.

posted May 2005 (pictures below are linked)



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Treasure Hunters:

Have a dream of gold and other treasures buried deep underground in the wild and untrodden gorge of Kazaviti, convert this dream into a mad and vigorously persecuted presentation - until all the relevant authorities agree and grant official digging permission. The Forestry Department, the Lands Department (ktimatiki yperisia), the Archaeological Office, the Island Administration, the Police. Then hire the heaviest dozer machinery on the island , and one day in early summer of 2004, invade the virgin natural monument of the gorge with its ancient plane trees just below Kazaviti, using brutal, massive force in front of the watching officials witnessing this macabre spectacle day by day from their comfortable arm chairs sipping coffee- an enjoyable picnic. This incredible scandal unfolded again in autumn, because all they found in the huge craters of rock and soil was ...rock and soil; what else one should expect in the depth of 7 meters! How can these wounds heal and that natural magic return to this vandalized place ... how can it ever be the same again as before ? Never ever! And never again the stone walls of the Roman civilization will be re-constructed...The satirical magazine "To Pontiki" picked up the topic. Its conclusion: Apparently the Greek government is carrying such a heavy burden of penalty payments to Brussels, for non-conforming with environmental legal obligations, that such an imaginary treasure of gold would have been extremely handy. We, the residents of Kazaviti can do little but seriously worry: what next will befall our dormant village and its natural treasures by surprise attack - another Greek Tragedy perhaps? Or have the pirates returned, that lethal plague, the inhabitants of Thassos suffered from for ages.

posted May 2005 (pictures below are linked)

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