Paros: an island of two speeds, depending on the season

We have visited the island of Paros twice in the previous years and the findings are recorded in the corresponding Field Surveys of the Observatory (2021 / 2022).

This year, our meetings with the Municipality and the Community Center of Paros took place online, on June 8 and 13, with:

a) the Deputy Mayor, Theodora Sarri-Papakyrillou

b) the executive of the Paros Community Center, Ms. Antigoni Frantzeskaki,

c) the Head of the Municipality for social protection matters, Ms. Loukia Malamateniou.


Ms. Sarri spoke to us about Paros, an eminently touristic Municipality, in which, especially in the summer months, there is a great demand for work. In addition, the issue of the difficulty of finding houses to rent was discussed, while the serious understaffing of social structures, as well as of the island’s health services, was highlighted. Regarding the challenges facing the island, the difficulty of finding work during the winter months, the limited access to public health services, the lack of support structures as well as issues concerning nursery schools were mentioned.



Ms. Frantzeskaki, as the only current employee of the Community Center, referred to the fact that, although there are no extreme cases of deprivation on the island, the main issue is the lack of benefits and services, which in turn affects social cohesion, but also the families of the community. We also discussed the increase in divorces and estranged families in recent years, as well as the tendency to isolate vulnerable social groups, such as the elderly, within their homes, which is also a form of institutionalization. The good practices of the Community Center were mentioned, such as its cooperation with the Hellenic Manpower Employment Organization, especially with its employment counselor, but also with the psychologist of the Vocational Senior High School. She also talked to us about the next steps concerning the new programming period, pending the return of the psychologist of the Community Center, which are, among other things, the creation of a Center of Creative Activities for Children, the operation of Parent Schools, as well as informing the head teachers/teachers in schools about child neglect and abuse. It should be noted that Ms. Frantzeskaki is also the only member of the Minors’ Protection Team in the Municipality of Paros.


Ms. Malamateniou, with a 23-year experience in the Department of Social Care and Health of the Municipality of Paros, spoke to us about the multiple responsibilities they have undertaken, while she also emphasized the serious understaffing of social services of the Municipality as well as the lack of infrastructures. Moreover, the absence of extreme cases of material and social deprivation on the island of Paros, which is a “two-speed” island, with a high demand for work in the summer months and a “deathly silence” in the winter months, was mentioned. In addition, she informed us of the next steps of the Municipality in the field of social policy, such as the intention to create a dementia center, camps for children so that parents can work, and the necessity of leasing properties to be made available to municipal employees who come to work on the island.


We would like to sincerely thank all the participants for their contribution to the work of the Observatory.



(Text and photos: Konstantina Kourkoumari)