Five years ago, one man, Yiannis Katehis, returned to his father’s island, and step by step, his vision was put into practice by 21 members of KIPPKO association. What do they do? As an independent group with a large group of followers, they are taking over the island, investing their own time and money: the port, water, waste, clearing old walking trails, promoting sustainable agriculture, everything connected with tourism … All of this is already happening here. According to Yannis, the only threat for the future of the island is the ongoing occupation of Greece, which is targeting the oil basin that lies beneath the Othonoi part of the Ionian sea.
At our first meeting, Yiannis explained the origin of the name of the island, its history and mythology, of Phoenicians and our Palestinian origin, and of recent history in one blow. Click on "AUDIO" below to listen to his story!
"I do not live off the island and I do care for the island. The others, they make money from the island, but they forget about the things ... They disregard the problems. You know, having quest and telling him not to fish with bottle, he could leave... That way, the board members [of KIPPKO association for environment and cultural heritage that Yiannis started] are those who already have sources to live, and that is why I did not choose a shop owner or somebody like that. I choose people that are independent."
"The vision of KIPPKO organisation is being implemented, because people are fed up of promises, and I think it is the right time worldwide for changes to happen, it is a time for people to win the liberation back ... Not by war, but with ideas. Our governments are already backing up a bit. It is the right time to start demanding correct life. We want to be on the island and manage our island. We live here and we will tell you what to do here. You want to collect your taxes, but this is it! You do not know what we need. We see the problems, we should manage them, I would even change flag if you want, I know what is best for the place … It is an independent Greek Island … My fears are big ones! I do know we have huge deposit of petroleum here , there are three "hot spots" around this island here. My fear is that this oil will come out, because the Arab oil will run out and the Americans will want to take the oil. Well, they already took the oil ... How? They put Greece in crises just to take this oil. People do not realize what happened, we are siting on a huge oil wealth here ... I know this since 1985, because you can see on satellite images where the oil deposits around the world are, the red spots. When you have a treasure, everybody wants to steal it. I know how international politics work. I am afraid that if they will start to drill for oil here, they will spoil everything ... Oil refinery platform – there goes you tourism ... bye-bye. I think we need Greenpeace here. There will be accidents, oil spills ... They already signed the contract and it will all probably begin to unfold in the next year or so."