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Monday, 26 June 2017

Bermuda Shorts: Reunion Time

Corfu: The New Fortress

Better up above...

Corfu, The Other Side, by Adrian Ginsberg

A book that I will have to buy before I leave (if I have room in my suitcase):



The book contains 156 powerful black and white images taken by Adrian Ginsberg in Corfu over a period of sixteen years.


Corfu=Rubbish; Respect for the Environment? At the entrance to the Old Town; Μιά ανυπόφορη Κέρκυρα - Σεβασμός για το περιβάλλον;

I regret that I have to be so blunt, but the rubbish situation in Corfu (and, this time, throughout the rest of Greece) is unbearable, especially in this heat. I have sympathy for the refuse collectors, and for all Greek citizens, but if a strike is really necessary, then please call it in colder weather, when there is less of a risk to the public health.

Last year the situation on Corfu was even worse. This year it  could be just as bad, and the strike will last for most of this week...or even longer.

If the rubbish isn't cleared up soon, I make a solemn vow that I will never come back to Corfu again. I'm certainly heading back for the mountains, as soon as possible.

Fans of The Durrells TV series are certainly in for a shock if they arrive this week.

Garbage collectors to continue strike action through Thursday, eKathimerini

"As temperatures rise, the union of municipal sanitation workers said on Sunday that staff will continue protest action through Thursday after deeming a government proposal to break the deadlock inadequate. The continued walkouts will add to the mounds of trash on the streets of Athens and other cities with the situation expected to get progressively worse as temperatures rise, with a heat wave forecast for the end of the week". 

Read the abridged English version of "Panorea"  in this collection of short stories.

"Somewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the East joins the West..."

Albania: Elections, Exit Poll

From Euronews -

"Albania’s ruling Socialist Party looks set to win the county’s parliamentary election taking between 45 and 49 percent of votes. If the exit poll proves to be correct it means Prime Minister Edi Rama will be returned to power but this time he will have secured more than 71 seats in the 140 seat assembly".

Πρωτοφανής πόλωση στην Αλβανία: Πρόεδρος εναντίον πρωθυπουργού, Kathimerini

Αλβανία: Το Σοσιαλιστικό Κόμμα εμφανίζεται ως ο νικητής των βουλευτικών εκλογών

The Story of Barbed Wire - The Devil's Rope

From BBC World Service

"Ian Marchant traces the story of how barbed wire privatised America. He drives from DeKalb, Illinois where 'the devil's rope' was invented, to the Barbed Wire Museum at La Crosse, Kansas, calling along the way at the birthplace of Buffalo Bill and the wildest cow-town of them all, Abilene, where Wild Bill Hickock was marshal. 'Uncle' Joe Glidden's simple invention was patented in 1874. Within 15 years it had put an end to the wild west and consigned its mythology to the dime novels and the movies. In the place of cowboys, indians and outlaws came civil society, modern capitalism and the idea that land is there to be owned and exploited".

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Bogdanatika, Paxos: Please do not throw rubbish here! Μην ρίχνετε σκουπίδια εδώ! On Pruning Olive Trees

Κτηματολόγιο! Ktimatologio - National Land Registry, Cadastral Survey, Greece; The Example of Paxos

When the land registration process and cadastral survey finally begin on an island like Paxos. one can safely predict that all hell will break loose.

Local people predict that there will be at least fifty years of continual court cases. There will be claims and counter-claims concerning ownership of individual olive trees and the borderlines between them; there will be claims about rocks and cypress trees (and other species), about paths and rights of access; there will be disputed "oria" (borderlines) all over the island.

Paxiots traditionally owned individual trees (perhaps originally acquired for their reputedly superior fruit-bearing potential), which are scattered all over the place, so that few, if any, plots of land had clear-cut borders or titles, containing, as most do outside the villages and towns, other owners' individual trees.

Then there is the issue of what constitutes forest land, which cannot be built upon.

Some Paxiots say that no one will want to buy or sell land on the island because of the new laws, the high taxes and other expenses - and the threat and implications of the ktimatologio.

True, or not? What can be done to sort it all out?

An Old Poem

When families quarrel
Over children or trees
The bitterness lasts
For generations:
The feuds outlast roofs.
No one gives way
Before the walls give in.

Photos purely illustrative (not related in any way to the poem)

Paxos, Greece: The British Residents (and other serving Officials/Officers Posted on Paxos During the British Protectorate)

This posting is not about the estimated 120 permanent British residents living on Paxos nowadays, but about the official Residents (local governors), officials and army officers during the period of the British Protectorate. From the historical research notes published by Dionysios Zerbas (1970).

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Greece: Trash Remains Piled in the Streets

"Minister of Home Affairs and WTO-OTA Fail to Resolve Issues – Trash Remains Piled in the Streets", Greek Reporter

"Until the trade union resolves the stalemate the accumulation of waste in the urban centres is expected to remain since the strike is not expected to be lifted before a resolution is reached. The garbage piling up in the streets is a direct threat to public health in combination with high temperatures, which are expected to rise further in the coming days, creating the perfect cocktail for authorities to have concern".

Gov't to present amendment foreseeing sanitation hirings, eKathimerini

"An amendment is to be tabled in Parliament foreseeing the recruitment of 2,500 local authority sanitation workers on short-term contracts on a permanent basis. As it will take a few months before the competition for the jobs can be held, short-term job contracts will be extended by six to eight months in the meantime, the minister said. According to sources, the new jobs would be paid for from the municipal charges paid by citizens. However, it remains unclear what the opinion of Greece’s international creditors will be about the initiative and whether it will result in calls for fewer hirings in other key sectors such as health or education....Meanwhile the tons of trash that continue to fester on the streets are turning into a public health risk as a heat wave is predicted for the end of next week with temperatures set to reach 39 degrees Celsius".

Garbage pile up on Greek streets, KTG

Paxos, Casa Rossa, Gaios. To Kokkino Spiti (The Red House); το κόκκινο σπίτι

Another wonderful stay at the 150-year-old neoclassical seafront house of Maria Vellianiti and her sister Natasha in Gaios, Paxos

το κόκκινο σπίτι