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Greek Islands suffer shortages

Tsambika beach on Rhodes

Greek Islands suffer from shortages.

As record numbers of holidaymakers fly into Greek Islands like Naxos they may be shocked to find a shortage of essentials such as doctors, transport and fresh water. Community leaders on ten Greek Islands have written to the Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to complain at the cuts in basic facilities.

The municipal authorities on the islands of Corfu, Lefkas and Naxos have joined smaller island officials on Kythera, Othonoi, Erikousa, Mathraki, Kalamos, Kastos, Irakleia, and Donousa to complain of shortages in essentials such as water supplies, transportation and health facilities.

The claim matters are being made worse by the consolidation of municipal utilities under the so-called Kallikratis plan introduced in May 2010 which saw island boundaries redrawn and municipal authorities merged.

Many islands have faced financial difficulties due to high costs of essential supplies, low taxes and excessive over-staffing and claim the mergers have made matters worse.

Now some Greek islands want to be excluded from the Kallikratis consolidation plan, arguing that each island is its own municipality.

Their joint letter tot he government warns: "Our islands are one step before abandonment." They are calling for the integration of tourism projects, a fairer distribution of doctors across the islands, the maintenance of subsidies for ferries on unprofitable lines tot he islands and help with the costs of finding fresh water through the long summer holiday season.

Many Greek islands get their water from local groundwater sources but some smaller islands have insufficient water resources and must be supplied through tanker ships at a high cost.

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