Didn't you vote for us? We are changing the budget.

Tomorrow, December 31, 2023, Sunday. Christmas holidays; schools & construction sites are closed, everything on our island is under-functioning during this most important vacation period, necessary to offer rest from the accumulated tension of the summer. And while we are all preparing for the celebration of the change of the year with our loved ones, the mayor of Kythira has invited to a double meeting of the Municipal Council, a few hours before the end of their term. In a way, he does what everyone does on this day: he prepares the gifts for his loved ones….

What is important is not the obvious social disability that this invitation reveals, nor the reaffirmation of personal psychological dependencies (of which Matthew has said it better: "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also" ) but the real reason for this last-minute invitation. The stake is, of course, the reform of the Budget for the year 2024, which the outgoing Municipal Council has the right (not the obligation...) to approve. In the table attached (above), what is happening becomes obvious: After the elections, the mayor transfers the resources earmarked for the villages that did not vote for him to the villages that voted for him! So simple. The projects for Karavas, Potamos, Friligianika, etc. were canceled and these funds (>550,000€) inflated the budgets of the projects in Livadi, Karvounades, etc.

In our reading, this is not due to pressure from contractors or local actors, no. In any case, with the right to Direct (or indirect) Assignments his favorites would again undertake the projects even at the villages that did not vote for him. No, this is only done out of reflexive pettiness: to punish those who didn't vote for him and, why not, to give a message of power: "whether you want it or not, you'll have me for yet 5 years and I'll do whatever I want because I can." Alone this action of his destroyed any hope that every well-intentioned Kytherian might have: that after the 3rd election and the securing of his pension or the removal of his financial insecurity in any way, the mayor would himself change.

Not negligible a fact for our collective psychological self-awareness, is that all the members of the executive committee approved the change of the budget, even against the interest of the villages in which they live! For example, Pan. Zantiotis (apart from Karavas, Pl. Ammos, Diakofti which simply disappeared from the table) approved the abolition of the funds for the Recreation study as well as the reduction of the funds for the water supply network of Agia Pelagia! The same, of course, with G. Kominos and K. Kapsalis. In other words, a psychological need for unconditional identification with the mayor's mechanism seems stronger than the elementary dignity of being able to look into the eyes of those you meet as soon as you step out on the street, than the economic survival of your neighbors and finally, and more importantly, than the understanding of our collective life in terms other than economic violence.

Resistance to economic violence is a key political goal of Free Kythera. We do not consider as a solution, for example, the social and economic isolation of the elected officials who are responsible for the targeted economic withering of our villages. No, we will continue to say good morning to them and eat souvlaki from Kapsalis. Our model must transcend their smallness, not compete with it for who will prevail on the same terms of violence and complex arrogance. Without discounting the possibility of legal action to defend the basic self-evident of democracy against ridiculous local micro-fascism, our strongest weapons are love, collective action and human solidarity.

With patience and persistence in informing everyone, so that in 5 years we will have convinced the majority of our fellow citizens of the need to change the local government model, not just the individuals.

We wish you a happy New Year and may 2024 find us all with health, optimism and an appetite for work!