“On the island of Ikaria residents are considering holding a referendum to decide whether its 9,000 residents will continue to be governed by Athens or become independent,” Viennese free press newspaper Heute claimed quoting an alleged report by Italian newspaper Libero. The Greek Embassy in Austria reacted to the bad taste of Heute editors, or rather their lack of professionalism, with a furious statement rejecting the validity of the report.
“The government has forgotten us years ago. If one cannot assure us now, new roads and a hospital, we may decide to break away from Athens,” Heute claims the islanders have threatened.
“It is difficult for us to remain independent. But we could demand the annexation to another country. Of course, not to Turkey, better to Austria,” the islanders ostensibly said during the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Independence from the Ottoman Empire.
The Austrian journalist even asked an expert’s opinion on whether it would be possible for Austria to finally get direct access to beaches in the Aegean Sea after the “annexation.”
“They have really gone too far, saying “The secession of the island would have serious consequences for the Greek economy.”
”Ikaria is an inseparable part of Greek territory and there is no agreement between the Greek government and the island that runs out,” underlined the statement of the Greek Embassy. It appears that some residents expressed a strange opinion and the Italian journalist got it all wrong. No official spokesman or the island’s Mayor ever stated that Ikaria wishes to be annexed into any other country, or even become independent for that matter.