Sifnos: New voices for a “brake” in pools, caves

By | May 2, 2023

“It all starts with the ease with which land is sold. 20 years ago, you couldn’t find anything to buy, nobody was selling. Now the exact opposite is happening, because people came and offered exorbitant amounts, much more than the real value of the properties”, tells “K” Ronia Anastasiadou, a resident of Sifnos active in thematic tourism. [SHUTTERSTOCK]

“The monopoly of the agrarian economy and the transformation of the insular rural environment into a space for free investment, with the depletion of natural resources and the absolute adaptation to the needs of mass tourism seems to lead to a paradoxical myth of Sisyphus: The peak of development can plunge communities into the total destruction of the sources they used for their livelihood”.

This passage, taken from documentary “Being an islander” (Being an islander) of dimitris bura and her Anastasia Christofilopoulos For him sifnos, seems to sum up the concerns of its residents about the future of the island. After the municipality’s letter to three ministries, with which it asked to prohibit swimming pools, underground buildings, the alteration of the island’s architectural heritage and the destruction of roads (see “K” 8.4.23), a letter signed by 100 friends of the island comes to underscore and amplify the problems created by unregulated tourism/residential development. The signatories declare their support for the initiative of the municipality and indicate the number of issues that are interrelated with those mentioned. Among them, the integrated management of water resources, anarchic and de-escalated construction, respect for protected spaces A natural space. “It is clear that the local community itself is ready to demand a development that ensures both the present and the future of its children,” the letter says. “In Sifnos, as in other islands of the cyclades, there is a fear that the situation will worsen. The islands are experiencing an unprecedented real estate boom”, explains o Giannis Spilanis, Professor at the University of the Aegean and Director of the Aegean Sustainable Tourism Observatory. “The difference in the case of Sifnos is that not only a part of society reacts, but also the businessmen themselves, who do not want the character of the island to be destroyed. Potential investors used to come to the islands, stay a few days, and look for opportunities. Now they come in helicopters, come and go the same day. It’s reasonable for them to be concerned.”

Sifnos: New voices for a

Red line

One hundred friends of the island, with their letter, support the initiative of the municipality to ask the competent state agencies to safeguard the cultural heritage of the island.

“Sifnos was destroyed twice in its history by monoculture: in ancient times, when its mines were flooded, and in the 1950s, when new materials put ceramics out of competition. However, most Sifnians they refuse to see the reality: for the moment, the target of investors is the islands with superior performance. Now it is Sifnos, when it stops giving what they want, it will be somewhere else,” says o Dimitris Bouras, anthropologist and creator of the documentary. “Today on the island there is easy money and myopic logic. But at the same time, the island has crossed the “red line”, for its natural resources, for its heritage, for its landscape”.

Sifnos: New voices for a

“Rules are not followed”

HE Ronia Anastasiadou, resident on the island, is dedicated to thematic tourism. “I think it all starts with the ease with which land is sold. 20 years ago, you couldn’t find anything to buy, nobody was selling. Now the exact opposite is happening, because people would come and offer exorbitant amounts, much more than the real value of the properties. At the same time, the existing rules are not respected, there are no controls, indecency prevails. He who has money, he does what he wants. But although they are not illegal, you can see how out of place they are: they build huge houses and since the white looks intense, they also put some exposed stone walls, which are only used here in the stables. And then, whoever built the giant on top of the mountain or in the middle of nowhere, has a requirement for electricity, water, sewage, and the scarce resources of the municipality must serve these as well instead of the needs of society. . Together, our society is changing. Once upon a time the islands came to life at the hands of the officials assigned to them or those who decided to leave city life behind. Now all of them can’t find a home, since everything is on Airbnb, and they leave. I don’t know how this can be stopped.”

The letter

We are lovers of Sifnos and most of us have been spending a large part of the year on the island for many years. We strongly support the initiative of the Municipality of Sifnos to address a letter to the competent state bodies for the preservation of the island’s cultural heritage. It is clear that the local community itself is willing to demand a development that ensures both the present and the future of its children.

Other examples of issues that are interrelated with those highlighted by the Municipality are the integrated management of water resources, anarchic and out-of-scale construction, respect for the Natura protected area, maintenance of roads and dry stones, garbage management , the limitation of cars on the carrying capacity of the island in combination with even better public transport, the protection of natural beauty and others.

On the island there are already many related initiatives in which residents actively participate. With the current pioneering movement, Sifnos is starting a fruitful dialogue for the sustainable development of not only itself but also other islands, as well as exploring a new model of tourism that is friendly to the environment and cultural heritage.

1. Vasya Athanassoula
2. Nikos Anastasopoulos
3. Alina Valvi
4. Angeliki Vafeidis
5.Kostis Vafeidis
6. Nikos Vernikos
7.John Bicknell
8.Becky Bloom
9. Alex Bloom
10. Alexandra Voulpiotis
11. Ilias Gounaris
12. Maro Grigoriadis
13. Maria Griva
14. Zoe Gozadinou
15. Angela Colman
16. Deborah Colman
17.Rosy Colman
18. Catherine Galle
19.Raymond Galle
20. Cristina Greiner
21.Frank Greiner
22.Ion Dagtoglou
23.Jim Devine
24. Dragon chest
25. Eleni Dori
26.Michael Ellis
27. Alexis Estratiadis
28. Thodoris Efstratiadis
29. Loukia Efstratiadis
30. Maria Efstratiadis
31. Flavia Zakian
32. Nikos Zacarias
33. Amalia Zepou
34. Greta Zepou
35. Kostas Zepos
36. Diana Isidorides
37. Fotini Issidoridis
38. Anastasio Ioannou
39. Ioanna Ioannou
40. Rebecca Camhi
41. Aris Kandris
42. Vasilys Karatzas
43.Mini Karras
44. Ana Kasimati
45. Christos Katsakos
46. ​​Alexandra Katsiri
47. Eleftheria Katsiris
48. Nikos Katsiris
49. Mary Kelley
50. Jerome Kohler
51.Elizabeth Koulouri
52. Phaedo Cornelius
53. Chrysovergis Kritas
54. Marina Kyriaki
55. Dimitris Konstantinou
56. Katerina Konstantinou
57. Konstantinos Lalakis
58. Maria Lutge
59. Dimitris Manikas
60. Dimitra Markel
61. Jorge Xydis
62. Lisa Xydis
63. Eleni Machira-Ontoni
64. Achillea Mitsos
65. Popi Miestris
66. Nikos Mouzelis
67. Despina Balliou
68. Dora Dailiani
69. John Olympus
70. Amadeo Ontoni
71. Alkmini Paka
72. Spyros Papagrigoriou
73. Ana Papadakis
74. Maria Papaioannou
75. Zoe Papasmiris
76. Irini Petropoulos
77. Maria Polenaki
78. Potamitis of Daphni
79. Statis Potamitis
80. Potamitis Stelios
81. Vangelis Rousso
82. Benedetto SARACENO
83. Elena STERNAL
84. Cristina Solakaki
85. George Stamatis
86. Miltos Stamatopoulos
87. Chrysothemis Stamatopoulou
88. George Stratakis
89.Phoebus Stratakis
90. Dimitris Sfantos
91. Nikos Tazartes
92. Melina Tanagri
93. Anna Teleii
94.Nikos Teleienis
95. Eleni Tzirtzilaki
96. Lina Jartokollis
97. Anemone Hartokollis
98.Christos Hatzigiannakis
99. Daphni Psimara
100. Dimitris Psimaras
101. Thanos Psimaras
102. Thasos Psimaras
103.Hazel Webb

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