Mayor unveils plan to turning Greek city of Ioannina into a ‘Balkan hub’

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Mayor unveils plan to turning Greek city of Ioannina into a ‘Balkan hub’Jews, Christians, Muslims, Arvanites, and Slavs once composed the multicultural and multireligious profile of this wonderful city

The election of Greece’s first Jewish mayor, Ioannina’s Moisis Elisaf, was news that was heard around the world last May, ekathimerini.com reports.

Pundits had been dismissive of his chances when he first announced his candidacy, but by the second round, it was evident that the respected academic, a professor of internal medicine at Ioannina Medical School, was a serious contender in the race for the northwestern city.

“Seriously? You’re going to vote for a Jewish mayor?” his opponents and other members of the local community wondered – albeit discreetly – chiding his supporters.

“Some of the other parties used my religious identity extensively in the pre-election period. Not openly, but tacitly,” he told Kathimerini newspaper in a recent conversation at a cafe in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, where Elisaf had read poems by George Seferis the previous night.

At the end of the day, Elisaf was not just “a Jew” looking to run for office. He is a respected scientist, an active citizen and a spokesman for one of Ioannina’s historic communities, which together with Christians, Muslims, Arvanites and Slavs once composed the multicultural and multireligious profile of this wonderful city, before being decimated in World War II, when 1,900 of the city’s 2,500 Jews were sent to Nazi concentration camps. 

Read the full article at ekathimerini.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Pvasiliadis

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