A little-known islet between Amorgos and Leros islands in the Aegean that is nevertheless protected under the Natura 2000 network, and its single permanent resident, have been "adopted" by the Hellenic Entrepreneurs Association (EENE), according to a report by ANT1 television on Thursday.
The plight of Irini ("Rinio") Katsotourhi, who recently lost a state bonus, came to the attention of the EENE which the show said decided to assume financial, medical and other support.
In a statement to the station, the association said Kinaros is one of eighteen islets Turkey is pressing unfounded claims for, and called Katsotourhi a heroine standing guard like the Spartans at Thermopylae. "The need to defend our national interests concerns all of us. The call is for national conscience, vigilance and decisive contribution and generosity, to each one?s ability," EENE said, before announcing that it would "adopt" other remote islets that are "remembered only at emergencies." It added, "It is important to showcase and support the crucial work carried out by modern Greek frontier residents."
Besides immediate needs, EENE will cover food and emergency, legal, logistic and tax support, as well as maintenance of her house and the islet's infrastructure.
In a call-in during ANT1's show, EENE president Vassilis Apostolopoulos responded to Katsotourhi'ss gratitude by saying "we owe her our thanks and any help we can give for what she is doing for our country."
Kinaros, Levitha and other islets are protected biodiversity regions listed under the European Union's Natura 2000 network. In its report for the area (GR4210020), Natura says, "There are cultivations in the centre of Levitha islet. There are also a lot of free grazing goats all over the island. On Kinaros islet there are also cultivations and goats but fewer than on Levitha. In both islets there are very deep bays, which could be considered similar to fjords. The vegetation on Kynaros and Levitha is phrygana and maquis."
The site comes under the full protection of the EU's habitat-protection network, Natura 2000 says, as it is "an important site for seabirds and raptors." The "species of concern" include Falco eleonorae (Eleonora's falcon) and Larus audouinii (Audouin's gull).