Social and Economic Transformation in Central Mountain Crete. A Preliminary Approach to Recent Events in Zonianna
BASED on statistical and fieldwork data from research carried out in villages at the area of Cretan mountain Ida (Psiloritis) and especially at the Province of Mylopotamos, we focus on a specific situation of economic and social transformation. My main arguments can be summarized as follows:
At the present moment, due to reasons of a poor local economy, the majority of the about 100 villages of the area are in a situation of demographic decay. Three villages, however, namely Anogeia, Zoniana and Livadia, seem to be the exception to the above-mentioned situation. One reason seems to be the predominance of a pastoral economy, mainly monetarily subsidized by the European Union. Moreover, the predominance of the kinship relations in the overall local society –until now– provides politicians with such a background that enables them to build up social networks of patrol-client relations. Local people use this network not only to obtain benefits from the State (forms of social policy, loans and monetary subsidies etc) but also to obtain abjuring of penalties in cases of illegal commitments. The main outlaw actions of the local people are hashish cultivation, trade of firearms and pandering. Finally, in the villages characterized by a demographic stability, one can notice the development of a type of economy based on the influx –from sources outside of the community– of “legal” or “illegal” money. In the present paper we try to elaborate the specific reasons leading to this situation along with its perspectives for the future of the local community.
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