Bad taste? Extreme shortage of brain cells? I really can’t tell. Most likely it was boredom and a vivid fantasy. And maybe even a threat of work place loss should the journalist won’t come with a sensational story. But one thing is clear: dumbness has no borders!
This time stupidity hit right on the head some Italian journalist who sat in front of his key board and started to spin his story.
“On the island of Ikaria residents consider to hold a referendum to decide whether the 9,000 residents continue to be governed from Athens or they want to become independent”, Viennese free press newspaper “Heute” claimed quoting an alleged report by Italian newspaper “Libero”.
“The government has forgotten us years ago. If one cannot assure us now, new roads and a hospital, we may decide to break away from Athens,” the islanders threaten.
“It is difficult for us to remain independent. But we could demand the annexation to another country. Of course, not to Turkey, better to Austria,” the islanders said during the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.
Excited about the story of the island’s independence, an Austrian journalist asked an expert whether it would be possible for Austria to finally get direct access to beaches in the Aegean Sea:
“For international law from the University of Linz, Franz Leidenmühler, annexation of Ikaria to Austria would be no problem. “And of course, Austria would have to agree. The President should sign an international treaty with the island,” he said, according to a preliminary report on “Heute.” However, the Aegean island has its price: “Vienna would also take over the debt, which Ikaria bears pro rata of Greece’s total debt has to.” With about 350 billion euros of debt and 8,000 islanders were the nearly 250 million euros, calculated from Leidenmühler.”
Making a short notice of Ikaria being an island with a strong presence of the Communist party, “Libero” claims:
“The separatist threats of Ikaria worries Athens. The sea around the island is particularly important for fishing, and Ikaria fishermen supply a large parts to Athens Fish Market. The secession of the island would have serious consequences for the Greek economy.”
The story pr9ompted the Greek Embassy in Vienna to issue a statement:
”Ikaria is an inseparable part of Greek territory and there is no agreement between the Greek government and the island that runs out.” On 17 July 2012 the island will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the revolution with which the eastern Aegean island of Ikaria gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire. Some residents of the island expressed their own views. Neither the mayor, nor any spokesman of the mayor was quoted by the Italian newspaper. “The Treaty of Lausanne from 1923 confirms in Article 12 that the islands of the eastern Aegean, including Ikaria, belong to Greece. (sources: Italian “Libero” via “Heute” via Salburger Nachrichten and Tiroler Tageszeitung)
We, Greeks, have always considered residents of Ikaria as kind of weird. Living quite introvertive and living longer than the rest of us. The island is famous for the longevity of its residents. In some villages people sleep during the day and open their shops at night. Rumors claim that there must be something in the water.
Apparently this water wasn’t of good digestion for foreign journalists. Or Ikarians have a very good sense of humor and played with the naivety of some Italian.
PS Should the claim proven the pure hoax, all I can say is this nice Greek expression “somebody sits downs and scratches his @@s”.