NEWS

Economic woes in the kingdom of the Onassis family

The island of Skorpios, to which Aristotle Onassis once attracted the jet set, provided a lot of work for residents of Lefkada during its heyday. Many of the islanders employed then are now middle-aged, and should remain employed until they are pensioned off. But recent dismissals reported by Anna Stergiou in Eleftherotypia on September 27, were decided by KPMG Fides, the Swiss administrators of the estate of Athina Roussel, heir to the Onassis fortune. The employees were initially asked not to work for two days a week, which would save the 17.5 million drachmas needed to rationalize expenses on Skorpios. They refused, because they need to earn enough to make social insurance contributions and qualify for their pensions. The administrative committee dismissed the four workers, but one of them kept his job when the remaining workers agreed to wage cuts of 30 percent. Spiros Lazaris, 56, Michalis Kartanos, 60, and Kyriakoula Philippa, 64, who worked in the greenhouse and was only eight months away from her pension, were sacked. The problem is that Skorpios is becoming deserted, as people who spent their working lives there and cared for the place leave it. Could this be what is behind the dismissals?