Visit to the Municipality of Mykonos: accessibility, actions for citizens and the need to create new structures

The cycle of Field Surveys in the Cyclades was completed with the visit to the Municipality of Mykonos that took place on Thursday, July 6. The survey included interviews with:


a) Dimitrios Margaras, psychologist and manager of the “Help at Home” program,

b) Anastasia Oikonomou, social worker at the Social Welfare Office,

c) Georgios Kafentzis, vice-president of the Cultural, Sports and Social Organization “Georgios Axiotis” housed in the Grypario Cultural Center, and

d) beneficiaries of social allowances.


The interview took place at Grypario Cultural Center, which is a Legal Entity of the Municipality. As the Observatory visited the Municipality of Mykonos for the first time, there was a discussion about the island, its residents and visitors, the difficulties it faces, the accessibility of people with disabilities, but also the need for social protection structures.


Mr. Margaras spoke to us about the “Help at Home” program as well as the difficulty of hiring the right professionals for the municipal job positions due to the high rents and expensive living in the Municipality of Mykonos. In addition, he mentioned the challenges they faced during the pandemic and the way they addressed them. Among other things, he emphasized the consequences of material deprivation on individuals, while the issue of single parenthood was raised, as well as the fact that Mykonos gave women the opportunity to become financially independent in a short period of time and raise their children without any stigma. He also referred to the fact that there has always been social solidarity on the island, while he did not fail to underline the need for the creation of new structures, such as a nursery school, a Center of Creative Activities for Children and/or a rehabilitation structure.


Ms. Oikonomou, for her part, referred to her responsibilities as a social worker at the Social Welfare Office and the desire for the creation of a Community Center, which will be staffed with the professionals needed. Moreover, she spoke to us about the population groups seeking help, although there are no extreme cases of material and social deprivation on the island. In addition to the above, she talked to us about the lack of health infrastructures, as well as structures for the creative employment of children. She also told us about the good practices of social service, such as the “Network of Love”, a structure that was created in the middle of the pandemic to provide food and basic necessities for the elderly and people who lost their income, which is still operational.


Mr. Kafentzis deals with the citizens’ living issues, social actions and the events (cultural, educational, etc.) held at the Grypario Cultural Center, which are free of charge. In relation to the housing difficulties faced by the Municipality, in recent years an attempt has been made to subsidize municipal employees as an incentive, but also through the offer of old properties by individuals. The vice-president, being mobility impaired himself, spoke to us about the progress and development that has been achieved regarding the accessibility of people with disabilities as well as the general treatment by their fellow citizens. Taking into account the Cycladic architecture, more interventions are necessary to facilitate the people in question, including children, who need teachers for parallel support, as well as school nurses.




For their part, the beneficiaries of social allowances highlighted the expensive cost of living as well as the lack of infrastructures, such as those of healthcare. At the same time, a disappointment was also expressed about the general situation that prevails on the island as the great touristic development has brought about, among other things, unpleasant consequences, such as all kinds of illegalities and exploitation.


The Social Inclusion Observatory would like to warmly thank the Municipality of Mykonos and all the participants in the survey.


(Text and photos: Konstantina Kourkoumari)