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Newspaper Claims the Island of Ikaria Wants to Be Part of Austria

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.”

Ikaria liegt in der östlichen Ägäis. Bild: SN/apa (karte von stepmap.de)

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”.

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12 comments

  1. After getting rid of the Turks in 1912, Ikaria was an independent state for about ten months. With it’s own flag, currency etc. The country of Ikaria was quite isolated, though, and it was hard to build it up from scratch. So, they became a part of Greece. A pity, in fact.
    By coincidence, I will visit the island in the end of this month, and I am looking forward to hear the Ikarians own view about this topic.

  2. Pls report back with your findings, Nils. And have fun there!

  3. Sorry, the independency lastet only 5 months. Shortage of food, lack of transportation being some of the reasons for failure.

  4. keeptalkinggreece

    but if they join Austria they will have Kaiserschmarr and Marilenknoedel for free

  5. Similar stories doing the rounds about Crete. Apparantly becoming independent in January 2013 when the 100 year contract with Greece lapses…

  6. keeptalkinggreece

    the creta story is as old as the rocks on Crete.

  7. All this talk its a bunch of nonesence, no island of hellas want to seperate from hellas, all this articles including Crete are doing from centers which want hellas to be mutilated and find this time which the country its in very dificuld position and the politicians are very incopendant to manage this kind of problems. articles about end of 100 years saying also in crete, but this agreement was made when crete after a series of rebellions vs the Ottomans wanted to unite with Hellas and was given autonomy to the island with governor the Hellenic heir prince and provision for a referendum with question to unite with Hellas. when after the 1912 the island was liberated and united with Hellas this treaty was ceased to exist since the population get what they wanted, the unity with hellas! some years before some foreighn people come to crete and try to create some movement for the autonomy of crete from Hellas, the Cretans take them and put them in angree on the first ship telling them if they return with this nonesences again they would not be so polite!

  8. The London Treaty of 1913 doesn’t say anything about a one hundred year lease or something. Instead, it states the Ottomon Empire ceded once and for all times the sovereignty over Crete. Did the Cretes themselves make any contract with Greece after that? I can’t find any info on that. Got a link?

  9. And a good health, social and educational system.
    I don’t think the Ikarians will change their eating habits themselves. Of course the restaurants will have lots of Knödel and other specialities to cater for the big influx of Austrian people after building a new airport there.

  10. keeptalkinggreece

    why do they need a good health and social systme even they manage to get 90-100 years old without? you think the state can pay pensions to 120 years old?

  11. Just lots of rumours. Probably “expats” (another figment of the imagination) cheesed about being caught out with lots of illegalities with their houses and pissed now that they are being fined and forced to cough up before they can sell. Some of them are being caught for quite a bit. But then, what goes around, comes around…

  12. giaoýrti giaoyrtáki

    Just make a name change, take any island and call it Greece instead. So the rest of the country gets rid of everything.