If you’ve ever dreamt of island living, consider this: The Aegean isle of Antikythera will actually pay you to move in.
A jewel of an island between Crete and Greece’s mainland is incentivizing young, vibrant folk to relocate with a pretty attractive deal: Prospective residents with young children will get a plot of land, a home, and three-months of subsidized living—not to mention the benefits of the idyllic seaside climate.
The current population (which is about the size of two basketball teams, and doubles in the summer months) is a dedicated bunch eager to expand. Those with trade skills—like baking, fishing, stock farming, or building—are especially encouraged to apply. “These are professions for which we can guarantee a decent income,” says local council president Andreas Charchalakis.
Does that deal sound too good to be true? Antikythera—like Greece as a whole—has been facing hard times as of late. The country’s growing dogpile of issues includes a rocky economy, a declining birthrate, and an aging population. With help from the local diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church, and chutzpah from spirited locals, the island is taking steps to reverse these symptoms, at least on its own turf.
A beacon of light on the foggy horizon, the island’s shuttered schoolhouse just opened to the children of four new families for the first time in 24 years. After a visit by Greek president Prokopis Pavlopoulos—whose entourage outnumbered actual residents—the church set about preparing the four Athens–area families for relocation to the unspoiled island.
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