The Social Inclusion Observatory visits Patmos, Kastellorizo, Agathonisi and Leipsoi

The Social Inclusion Observatory has completed another series of research trips to smaller islands of the South Aegean Region implementing field surveys in the Municipalities of Patmos, Megisti, Agathonisi and Leipsoi.

 

On Tuesday, September 20, the Observatory with a working group, consisting of Mr. Antonis Skarpelis (Crowdpolicy) and Ms. Vasiliki Livanopoulou (Crowdpolicy), carried out a survey in the Municipality of Patmos, conducting interviews with the Deputy Mayor, Ms. Irini Kaniarou, an employee of the Social Service, Ms. Athanasia Arambatzidou, as well as with beneficiaries of welfare allowances, which resulted in very important findings about the living conditions of these residents. It is a quite active Municipality that works closely with the Community Center of Leros on social protection issues. The most important problems were the insufficient health coverage, the difficulty of traveling as well as the lack of employment opportunities for the residents of the island.

 

The following day, Wednesday, September 9, 2022, a survey was carried out in the Municipality of Megisti in the presence of the Deputy Regional Governor of Public Health, Social Care and Social Groceries of the Dodecanese, Ms. Chariklia Giasirani, under the supervision of the Observatory’s partner, Ms. Georgia Tseva (Crowdplicy). During the survey, constructive meetings were held with the Mayor, Mr. Sampsakos, as well as with the two Deputy Mayors, Mr. Asvestis and Mr. Amigdalos. The Observatory did not conduct individual interviews with beneficiaries as there are currently no beneficiaries of the Guaranteed Minimum Income or unemployed on the island. Although the Municipality faces some administrative gaps and the island’s economy is characterized by non-standard employment, the presence of the army works positively in terms of population growth and infrastructure strengthening, as well as social networks of solidarity and mutual aid.

 

On the same day, the first team carried out a survey in the Municipality of Agathonisi and an interview with the Deputy Mayor, Ms. Irini Barkoula. The main issues raised concern insufficient health coverage and problematic connection with other islands, while the issue of unemployment was not raised, since all residents are employed in the field of fish farming, agriculture, tourism and trade.

 

Finally, on Friday, September 23, the action was completed with a survey in the Municipality of Leipsoi in the presence of the Deputy Mayor, Ms. Evangelistra Laountou, and an employee of the Municipality responsible for serving the citizens, Mr. Georgios Laountou. The issues raised relate to the lack of health care as well as the difficulty of traveling to other islands or urban centers. In addition, shortages in teaching staff that have not been replenished for some time were emphasized. Finally, there is a need to review the criteria on the basis of which a person or a household receives an allowance as there are indications of unequal distribution of financial support.

 

                          

 

The Social Inclusion Observatory of the South Aegean would like to thank the participants in the field surveys as well as their partners who made trips to smaller and/or remote islands in the South Aegean for the first time for their contribution to the project.