By: Louk Vreeswijk

Oct 06 2013

Tags: , ,

Category: Europe, Greece


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In the spring of 2013 I happened to stay for a day or two in Livadia, a medium-sized town in Greece, in the vicinity of Mount Parnassos. I had time to explore the city and it struck me that the cafes and terraces were teeming with people, young and old. “They don’t let themselves get robbed of their favourite pastime”, I thought, “The economic crisis doesn’t seem to be that bad after all”.

Livadia, Greece, 2013

Livadia, Greece, 2013

But this conclusion is drawn too quickly and, on second thoughts, far from the truth. Because, while traversing the town, I also started noticing many a closed and empty shop, restaurant, or other business accommodation, all placarded with stickers carrying the word ENOIKIAZETAI.

Livadia, Greece, 2013

Livadia, Greece, 2013

I saw dozens of them. And all the time in big letters that intriguing, beautiful word ENOIKIAZETAI, its meaning – For Rent – reflecting a far from beautiful reality.

Livadia, Greece, 2013

Livadia, Greece, 2013

Livadia, Greece, 2013

Livadia, Greece, 2013

We have to assume that the real impact of the crisis is more grim than I thought initially. Restaurants that were not locked up remained ominously empty. Going out for dinner has become a rarity. The only outing is the daily visit to the cafe where one then remains talking for hours to other companions in misfortune over one single cup of coffee.

Photos of the week: Livadia, Greece, 2013

3 comments on “ENOIKIAZETAI”

  1. I traveled in Greece in 1970 as a young woman. I have not been back since, but the economic crisis is heartbreaking. My memories of Greece are vivid and happy. Full cafes, people talking about the government then in power. A vibrant atmosphere everywhere we traveled throughout the mainland and to Crete, Ios, Santorini. I hope the Greeks and all other countries in crisis, including the US, have a turnaround soon!


  2. Maybe the most important fact that emerges from this “crisis”, is that people meet, discuss, stick together, rediscover solidarity.
    This is the perfect occasion to rethink our relation to ourselves, to others, to the earth.
    “L’inconfort crée” would say Jean Cocteau…


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