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Trisa:
Seen in the Athens News....

Farming - key to Greek future  http://www.athensnews.gr/portal/1/53764

Bob:
Hi all,

A few observations!

Having lived in a Greek village for many years I can tell you that much of the land that is apparently unused is actually used. There are all sorts of private agreements. We in fact used to allow grazing of sheep and goats on our land until the house build reached the stage where to do so was dangerous.

If you think about it, you can't just let land that doesn't belong to you. The fact that the owner has done nothing with it for decades is beside the point. It is still their land. Frequently, because of the way property is inherited, there are many owners to a parcel of land and getting them to agree is frequently nigh on impossible.

It is not unusual for three or four olive trees in the middle of an olive grove to be bequeathed to the church!

As for demanding local produce .... It is all down to economy of scale. Major supermarkets cannot afford to shop around. If they did, consumers would never be able to afford the produce. We used to have all manner of industries in Corfu. Eg Dairy, Rope Making, Paper mills. They ceased to be economically viable.

Smaller supermarkets do use local suppliers or grow much of their own produce but sometimes it is not offered at realistic prices. I will give just one example. A local pantopoloeon owner has free range chickens. He sells free range eggs at 50 cents each. I can go to the mini-market a few doors away and buy six (very large) eggs for 1.50. Do the math! That is why we try to buy our eggs from 'Beanie' who sells free range eggs at a very favourable price! (See the small adds forum!)

It is nice to have these romantic ideas about how life should be conducted but realistically in the modern world they rarely go beyond dreams. We have tried the 'good life'. It's damned hard work!

Just my two leptas worth!

Bob

baywatcher:
I have noticed over the past year people have been returning to their land certainly in our village. One villager has a rotavator and was in huge demand last Spring. There are also 3 families who have left Athens and returned to their inherited houses/land because they could no longer afford to live in Athens. So I think more and more people will start cultivating land which before was left to grow wild myself included.

Denise

Dennis:
Exactly my point, Denise.  Last May I noticed that a field, which had been idle and overgrown for years, had been cleared AND cultivated again. I mentioned it to my friend and he said, yes, that is beginning to happen.

Yes there are problems. I know there are family ways and inheritance factors but so there is with old houses which are often left uninhabited for decades only to fall into ruin. However in the last few years more and more of those are being sold and refurbished by the new owners, often newcomers to the village. Is this a good thing or a bad thing ?  That depends on the outlook of the person being asked.  But it is happening and the village moves on ...  as must the economy!


--- Quote from: Bob on March 05, 2012, 10:49:00 AM ---If you think about it, you can't just let land that doesn't belong to you. The fact that the owner has done nothing with it for decades is beside the point. It is still their land. Frequently, because of the way property is inherited, there are many owners to a parcel of land and getting them to agree is frequently nigh on impossible.

--- End quote ---

Right on the beach road at Agios Georgios is a good example of this, Bob, and it is real eyesore with piles of spoil etc, spoiling the glorious view. I was told that the owners live away and do not care. What a shame and what effect does it have on visitors impressions ?

Dennis

Bob:

--- Quote from: Dennis on March 06, 2012, 10:43:07 AM ---
------------------------------ Snip ------------------------------
Right on the beach road at Agios Georgios is a good example of this, Bob, and it is real eyesore with piles of spoil etc, spoiling the glorious view. I was told that the owners live away and do not care. What a shame and what effect does it have on visitors impressions ?

Dennis

--- End quote ---

A couple of points! What one is told and what is reality are often totally different in my experience! (But then I am naturally cynical!) Things really are not always how they seem!

I agree that it is a shame when properties become derelict for want of a better word but again, the reality is that many need pulling down and rebuilding in the first place. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh but I simply do not share the 'romantic' views of many foreigners in Greece. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want things destroyed simply because they are old! (I'd be a gonna for a start!)

One should not be quick to dismiss the issues relating to inheritance when it comes to land and property in Greece. I have lost count of the people that I have met who have had sales fall through because one family member has walked away from the deal. It really can be a minefield. It was one of (but not the only) reasons that we decided to build. Even then, we had to deal with two different family members. We were fortunate that there was no background family feuds and it was dealt with both amicably and honourably.

People do come back to villages. We have read about and experienced the fact that Greeks invariably return to their roots. We have one family in our village who migrated to Germany many years ago and upon retirement, returned to his family home. He now has a spectacular vegetable plot!

For many villages, it would be good to see more younger people returning. Ours is a classic example. Sadly, I can't see many of the younger generation returning having had a taste of life in the big cities around the world. Maybe when they reach retirement age, who knows?

Bob

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