NEWS

Escaping from Athens to Spilaio, near Orestiada

When Stavros Papathanakis, publisher and father of two, returned to his village of Spilaio in Orestiada, northern Greece, after years in Germany, Italy and Athens, he founded the monthly magazine Voreas. «The thought of coming home was always there. The catalyst was a series of economic problems at the publishing company I’d started in Athens. I could have dealt with them, but I preferred to come home. Here I’m involved in journalism and publishing. The magazine had been going for four years and it keeps the Athens-Thrace connection alive.» He has no regrets. «The provinces have potential for creativity. They may not offer the same opportunities as the city, but you make up for that in a thousand ways if you organize your life and maintain your interests and concerns. You certainly get better quality of life, relations with family and friends are closer and you see them more often. In Athens it took us three hours a day to get to and from work.» The big drawback in the area is the dwindling population. «We are on the verge of demographic collapse. Most of the 400 inhabitants are middle-aged or elderly.»