In an effort to grow the island of Antikythera, the Greek Orthodox church is offering families $750 (500 euros) a month to come to live in the small Greek community. According to CTV News, Athens, just a 45 minute plane ride from Antikythera, is responsible for the idea.
At the moment, island life on Antikythera revolves around only a small population of 24 that doubles in the summertime. This is several leaps and bounds away from the population of 300 that once resided on Antikythera. Yet, as many of the youth quit the island for work, they left behind an ageing population.
The local council responsible for administering the island hopes they will receive “young families large enough to make Antikeythera alive and full of children’s voices” said the council’s president Andreas Harhalakis in an interview with the Greek website iefimerida.gr.
Harhalakis believes jobs as bakers, fishermen and builders will “guarantee a decent income for those who will come to our island.”
Harhalakis also remarked fondly of his experience when a “few days ago, three small children settled in Antikythira with their parents, who were from the island and the place was alive.”
The island hosts many beauties to entice potential residents, including local landmarks such as an ancient Temple to Apollo, and a centuries-old watermill.
Wine, food, and vegetables produced by natives are sold at Antikythera’s one and only provisions shop. There is electricity and internet connection as well as a police and medical station despite the absence of other staples like a bank or ATM.
Athens, who owns the island, and the Diocese of Kythera and Monemvasia will be helping to supply funding for Antikythera’s efforts to grow.
According to The Sun, four families have already been approved by the island’s council. Priority is being given to those of Greek origin, however, other nationalities will be considered for residence. Antikythera’s program follows other efforts across Europe to help revive regions most affected by urban exodus.