CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT Conference for regional development
In today’s precarious economic environment, Naoussa International Film Festival, as a developmental institution par excellence, hosts a two-day conference on regional development in the context of its 8th event. This conference under the title “Central Macedonia: A Roadmap for Development” will focus on the developmental potential of northern Greece and Central Macedonia, in particular. The aforementioned potential will be examined within four major pillars: a) Education and Culture, b) Tourism, c) Innovation and d) Quality in Agriculture which will also constitute the sessions of the conference. It is a conference that aims to become a starting point for the implementation of a comprehensive plan aiming at the establishment of a new pioneer, innovative and extrovert developmental understanding of the periphery. An understanding which will be based on the comparative advantages of each region, the development of synergies and the rational and efficient exploitation of human resources. Our main concern is to contribute to the promotion of the periphery of Central Macedonia as an exemplar growth pole, a model for the economic and social function of the modern European regions and an example of cooperation, progress and prosperity for the citizens of the broader region of Southeastern Europe.
Friday 30th September
First Session: Tourism
10:45 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45 12:15
Welcome speech Christos Helmis, Creative Director, Colibri Branding and Design “Branding destinations: The importance of the aggregate image & of our faith in its value” Ted Lelekas, Wine Journalist, Oenohoos Magazine & in2life.gr “High-End Wine Tourism: It’s not an alternative; it’s the only way forward” Nikolaos Koutsogiannis*, Director General, Naoussa International Film Festival “The contribution of culture to tourist development” Discussion Coffee break
Second Session: Quality in Agriculture
12:30 12:45 13:00 13:15 13:45
Georgios Stavropoulos, Agronomist, KORRES / Research and Development Department “KORRES-Herbs/Collaborations/Extractions/Research” Vassilis Haitas*, CEO, Agritex Energy S.A. “Innovation in Agriculture” Antoine Lepetit, Oenologist, Domaine Leflaive “Wine terroirs of Naoussa: attract the wealth of the world” Discussion Closing of Day 1 of the conference
Saturday 1st October
Third Session: Education, Culture, Innovation
10:45 11:00 11:15 11:30 11:45
Welcome speech Georgios Katsagelos, Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, Aristotle University Thessaloniki “Students and culture: The Students’ Week experience” Vassilis Kehagias, Cinema critic, journalist “Culture in the periphery: Is its time over?” Ioannis Trohopoulos, Director, Veria Central Public Library “Library and regional development: The case of Veria” Manassis Mitrakas, Assistant Professor, School of Chemical Mechanics, Aristotle University Thessaloniki “AquAsZero: An innovative material for the removal of both trivalent [As(III)] and pentavalent [As(V)]arsenic from potable water – Process of development and production”
12:00 Discussion 12:30 Coffee break
* The speeches of Mr. Haitas and Koutsogiannis are not concluded in the present publication because due to extraordinary circumstances did not realize. 2
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
Angelos Tolkas (Deputy Minister to Prime Minister) I was particularly pleased to see that this year the festival includes other activities too other than the purely cinematic, as it did last year, but this year with something even more dynamic for the local community, something that concerns us all, something that concerns the entire Central Macedonia. It concerns todayâ€™s and yesterdayâ€™s meeting on the road map for development in our region. Indeed, it concerns some very particular topics, which are the pillars that we have to use in order to overcome the crisis experienced by the country today, the crisis experienced by whole Europe. I will begin with reference to the last talk by Mr. Manasis, which had a very particular characteristic and had to do with innovation. The innovation of a material, the innovation of an attempt to manage to respond to modern problems and modern issues that are also set on an international level. Therefore, then, an initiative originating from here, from our country and indeed from Central Macedonia, from Thessaloniki can actually answer international problems. But what does this bear with it? It bears with it all this hard work, all the tension of the work that has been put into it, but also all the experience and attempt of a local community and economy so that the country, that a business, that some people may step on it to move abroad. And by stepping on it, that they may develop certain actions commercially, which will bring money, development, new actions, new innovations, new attempts with which we will respond to this international crisis. Respectively in our region too, there has been another innovation initiative, the use of ozone for waterless hygiene in toilets. Namely, something that responds to the lack of water, which threatens the entire world. Therefore, then, an innovation in a very important area and as a respond to the particular needs and problems that we have today. Apart from that, I too shall refer to our region where you are hosted these days because of the festival. Allow me to say a few things on the festival. Some things not easily mentioned by the organizers to avoid being characterized as self-centred. How did this idea begin? This idea started through innovation. It started in a region, Naoussa, which never had a cinematic tradition. It started out in Naoussa in an attempt to combine a particular field of culture concering cinema and as it has now evolved digital cinema, to combine this field with the local tradition, culture and history, something that has been achieved through its brochures, excursions and parallel events
taking place. Yet, it also has to do with local history but also with the evolution of some things in the future. We are proud of everything achieved by the festival. Indeed, I have met many people, people of culture too, and from other fields too, and back then we used to say about Naoussa that it was all about blankets and peaches. Today, apart from these we also add the festival because they have participated in it. Therefore, it also gives us the potential to differentiate ourselves in the present and in our future. The fellows here are making huge efforts. They are making efforts to gain something, to gain an innovation and this they have achieved. But what else did that bring? And allow me to parallel it with other issues that are experienced by our country today. This brought the potential to also claim co-operations with private businesses, to claim and worthily be included in all these developmental programs that are running for the country, such as the NSRF (ESPA). Why? Because they had the elements of innovation, they had culture elements, history elements, development elements. Today we are here and talking about this development. Moreover, all this time you have the opportunity, along with cinema, to also view the other characteristics of the region. A region which is in a very difficult financial situation for a very long time. A region, though, which has not started exploiting the comparative advantages that it had to this day. I mentioned a few. I can also mention farming too. Here, our region has very good farming products. It has peaches, cherries, apples and other farming products. These, we could not exploit to this day for particular reasons. Because there was a bad market, there was a market without any support, there were bad organizations that could not exploit the commerciality of this product, but had other criteria and other motives for exploitation or enrichment and there were significant issues of non-innovation in farming as we still have it to this day. Lately this is changing, we already have good, powerful, and serious associations that expand the particular product of the region and take it to the whole world. We have attempt to enter this innovation and we need intensify such attempts, the innovative attempts for an innovative farming, which you see is growing in other parts of the world, but here we are left behind. Along with farming, this region has a very good potential and a great tradition in wine. Well then, we have all these potentials and this region has much stimuli to give to those who chose to return to their homeland, to work in farming, to work in winery, to work in a business of the primary sector. Why? The absence of financial development or rather the absence of development and developmental choices in our
country today leads us to something else, leads us to return to our roots and exploit in a new way, with a new intention and with new aiming all that each place had offered. Indeed, we have observed this trend and it has started to grow, because big cities and urbanism have created many problems not to mention survival weaknesses. Therefore, with all these practical and specific examples, you can see that here is a region seeking its future, achieving its present and able to shape very good conditions. I shall close with another example. The Veroia Library. The Municipal Library of Veroia has become known and has now managed to be rewarded by particularly significant bodies and particularly significant foundations. Yet, why is it rewarded for? Because here too there had been an innovation and a very big attempt. To interconnect knowledge, to interconnect experience, to interconnect reading and essentially all that we see to this day in libraries to the land and to diffuse this knowledge potential to the entire world. You know, if once we used to talk about income redistribution, today we are talking, although we haven’t achieved it, today we are talking about knowledge redistribution. And knowledge redistribution is achieved though such attempts. It is achieved through such attempts, because they offer you new ways to meet you locally, to meet your place, the whole world to know it. To be known by a few, to be known by the people who are ahead in technology and innovation and you can enter and worthily claim your post there. To close, I shall be brief, the festival is to be congratulated for what is achieves. It is to be congratulated because in dead periods it can create events that are important for the city. They have added value for the city. But it also creates a human capital which now starts to seek and look for other ways. And before these choices or non-choices that we have today, this is what matters. To start seeking new ways. We could choose refusal. We could choose exclusively objection alone. Reaction. Rejection. Misery. We could say that we are a poor region where we can do nothing. The guys involved with the festival could say “come on now, where should we find these attempts, they are way too distant, very distant for us….”. I know that anything they do, they do it with great effort and I know that this result needs a year of work or more, because they too know have learnt what it takes and manage to get things running. They have momentum. Yet this answers all the negatives I mentioned before. It answers to a principal choice. The choice that I create for my land, I think universally and act locally. It answers to the choice that today we need creative citizens, citizens that can add
an extra value to the land and the product, citizens that through all these special conditions and the special talents that they have themselves, but also the special conditions of their land, can offer to the development of our region. And, Nikos, I wish that you continue with the same fervor, with the same result, with the same rush and this festival will manage to offer even more to our land, to the country, to Imathia and Naoussa, so that you are exonerated and all participants are exonerated the entire new generation be exonerated, who are looking for outlets, who seek the other ways, the ways needed to change this country, because I know and I am sure that none is pleased by this situation of the country and we all agree to one thing, that the country must change and that it shouldn’t be the way it was previously.
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
Creative Director, Colibri Branding and Design “Branding destinations: The importance of the aggregate image & of our faith in its value” I have been very much provoked by many of the aforesaid and the variety of view points is impressive. I will try not to get carried away, I will only make a general comment. Communication understands culture as the total performance of a society also at a level, dare I say, of cleanness and of quality in anything we do, even if it lacks the innovative characteristics and at a social cohesion level. The rest is art. For as long as we confuse art with the generic concept of culture, we will tolerate to walk in the morning next to vineyards or in wineries with the rubbish gathered the night before, because the culture of the region does not allow to care more about the rubbish and a bit less about our visions of innovation. Let me now talk about branding. Branding presupposes, and I will immediately explain, since the public is not necessarily familiar with the term, branding presupposes the will for a common, specific and hopefully attractive identity. Without such will, without such faith on what we can have, no branding process is needed and every expense, fund, every hour and every minute spent to that direction, will be of course of no use, useless, and it will finally be yet another defeat in the development process that we all wish for. Branding is a process of determination of the identity of a product, a service, a destination. Why do we do it? To begin with, we do it because we have decided that we shall promote what we have. What we have shall be communicated and exploited in every way, mainly dedicating it, suggesting it, or perhaps simply presenting it to the people around the world. In Greece, the branding process has been greatly afflicted. As you know the bodies were involved within their administrative boundaries with anything found readily as a concept on the advantages of each region on a national level too they presented initiatives that were rather political, usually innovative, because politics love innovation, an innovation that refers rather to words than to scientific essence. I was saying then that politics love anything new. Politics alone is about “this is the first time that something happens”. Naturally it omits the importance of the already existing value and its cultivation. It is typical. See how many different images – I will not insist because I could say lots of things about Greek campaigns-, how different images
have been used as the identity of Greece only during the last twelve years. While Greece was splashing around and each Greek Municipality or region or prefecture attended international fairs with their own identities, their own claims on the values that they bear, usually placing, I would like to describe this image to you, on a shelf honey, capers, mountain tea and olive oil, namely, placing side by side not only completely different things, but also products of different dynamics. We have it all. We have mountain tea, as if we are the world’s future in tea, and oil and olives, next to the honey. In the same time, now, during the last twenty years people started getting serious and so many countries, very big and very small, decided to create an identity for themselves and stick to it in an attempt to communicate it to the rest of the world. See very different identities, of very different natures. Naturally try to recognize too some similarities with what you perceive as the particularity or constitution of the country. Watch Peru with the nice linear patterns, you see Kosovo somehow awkwardly. More or less this is the awkwardness and the same region where we stand too. The key element of the entire effort is finding what can determine our identity more precisely and more constantly in time. Finding it is not easy, because it means everything that we have discussed until now and all the things discussed in the region about what its assets are, what the advantaged, perhaps the foods that you mentioned yesterday too, and naturally and indeed compared to or contrasted to what other regions near us or further away suggest respectively, so that we won’t regret it when we realise that we spent all our money to make good bread, but there is another region with far better bread, with history and the ability to attract people for its good bread more easily than us. In fact, cities and countries, we can see the cities to the right, think that this “I love New York” thing goes some 40 years back. See how they tried to copy it, “wild” Madrid and the very “open” Copenhagen in a particular manner, attempting to play with their names. The key step that need be taken to do this work properly is first of all to list, assess, group the advantages, the infrastructures of a region. Also to try to list what the region has achieved in terms of communication to this day. To see the channels it used, the print left by its message wherever it was taken, wherever it went. To try, based on the assumptions it has already made, to form a strategy and determine the identity and perhaps put labels on this identity, like brands so to speak, in other words to also built its interior ingredients, possibly attributing an
identity to them too. A region should not necessarily cover all characteristics, the separate characteristics that it might have and that could and should have special promotion. Thus, it is very difficult to say that our region is the region of knowledge, but within a region it could be the region of wine, there could be a library there, there could be a festival as a brand or label of the region. And then and based on that assumption, namely the assumption of identity, create the key lines of visual communication, the material needed for the expression of such visual communication and essentially become what the audience will understand and more or less charmed, more or less wanted and with powerful will, will come to our region to consume it, as they would consume a product or service. Let me just tell you that this thing for the region, any region, for any product finally, for any service, because things aren’t very different as to services in the regions. One can say to many things. It is really an ocean of things. And today that everyone here isn’t from different industries, and we are not all so divert as to really, statistically, depict the image of the region, each one could contribute something else that is really an advantage. Anything that you can imagine, from infrastructure, geography, folklore, traditional culture and events of a region, the new architecture that is here, the acts of the citizens, of the people of the region that may be exceptional in some cases, such as in our case the wine, and so on, all these can be elements to determine our identity. The problem is that usually these elements are all gathered together, we try to squeeze them in and make a bundle or pile and serve it together as a pile to the victims that we expect that will respond and will come running to start to untwine them and slowly start consuming them. This will have no results.
Wine Journalist, Oenohoos Magazine and in2life.gr “High-End Wine Tourism: It’s not an alternative; it’s the only way forward” To begin with, I would like to tell you that wine tourism belongs to thematic tourism. Naturally, wine is at the epicenter, but the priority is that it offers complete experiences for all the senses and that wine per se is not the exclusive epicenter. Even for the dedicated wine lovers, like myself and my lot, the mere existence of a winery and wine in a region is not enough. It’s not enough even for people like me, who like a madman, get into the car all the way from Athens just to go and try wines and see new things. It’s not enough to keep me there. Let alone for people who do not share my passion to the same extend, let alone some companion, some friend, something else. The complete, then, refers to a wider experience. In order to be able to offer wine tourism services, you must be able to offer on accommodation, offer food, ideally a taste of the local cuisine, have some local products, which to me, it would be advisable for them not only to be available for purchase at a shop, an outlet, but rather that the visitor participates in their creation too, the harvesting, the gathering, in some of the productive processes, there should be a beautiful nature or respectively a beautiful city. Namely, we can have wine tourism in Thessaloniki, and we can also have wine tourism in Naoussa where we are now. And certainly, why not, there should be some further activities. A festival, a performance in an ancient theatre, museums, galleries, anything else. Generally a complete experience should be offered. If we want to provide really high standards wine tourism, which will not be the mere supplement of a touristic package, it should be an exclusive activity which people would come to see and be prepared to pay for it too. The wine tourists that we are targeting are of very high standards and are essentially the people who have seen it all and done it all. They have stayed in good hotels, they have been in expensive places and now we must offer them something more. This is exactly why I used the title “provision of high standards services”. What does that mean? These people, because they have very high standards and refined taste, will pay and indeed will pay premium even during the crisis. This is proven, if not in Greece, certainly in Europe. Even during the crisis, they will pay to get some high standards services and to try some things that they have not experienced before. They are also opinion leaders, they influence people and this is vital. This is why we must have them in the epicenter and treat them exactly as they deserve to
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
be treated. And, at least to this moment, experience has shown that this is an audience that is unaffected by the crisis, namely they will be the last to suffer from the economic crisis and the last to stop paying and giving and participating in something that they really enjoy. Certainly, this is both good and bad. It is bad because we must always be on the alert. These people, precisely because they know, have seen and can compare, are demanding. They have very high standards. Above all, they are not forgiving. And they are not forgiving mainly as to service. Precisely because they have been to good hotels, they have been to the regions where tourism flourishes and is performed in a professional way, you can’t afford but to give the best first impression. Wine tourism is a competitive advantage. Perhaps it sounds exaggerated and I am not saying that Greece should stop the “a little wine, just the sea and my boyfriend”. God no, this is our key touristic product. But we don’t have a competitive advantage there. And we don’t because in our wider neighbourhood such services are offered by the dozen, much cheaper and of better quality. Therefore, on one hand this is where we should invest and pay attention, on the other hand this game is already lost. Yet in wine tourism, we have the advantage. Wine gastronomy can efface seasonality. Because on one hand you have regions such as Santorini, Rhodes, Crete, Kefalonia where one can combine the touristic destination with the sea, the sun and wine and gastronomy, but on the other hand you can have harvesting in the autumn in other regions, one may come up north, watch hunts, wild mushrooms, and so on, during winter you can put ski resorts in the picture. This way or the other you can rid of seasonality. Which is a massive issue nowadays. It opens new markets to us, because we now are talking about new audiences, even people who knew Greece in another aspect, don’t know it as a wine tourism destination, therefore they will rediscover it, they want to rediscover it. And believe me there are many markets that don’t even have us on the map and we haven’t yet touched. The margin for development is great if we handle it properly. As to what applies in the economy, would you care to listen to it in numbers? In 2009, wine tourism in Italy brought 1.9 billion euro to the national economy. Therefore the examples, and this is why I use mainly the example of Italy, the examples that I think are basic examples to follow and I happen to know very well myself, is Tuscany in Italy, where wine tourism is really in the air, it is everywhere, you breathe it in, you experience it. And everything contributes to that, everything assists this process, thus the existing result, since a whole region lives on it and the wider economy is significantly
enhanced every year. Where do we stand? We have admittedly very good wineries for most of our wine producing zones. Not all of them, but there are always the good ones, the less good, the big, the organized and so on. But we lack the infrastructure. Namely, for those of you that already know this I will say this again, for those that don’t, Nemea for instance has no hotels. It is our biggest wine producing zone, and you have nowhere to stay. And as for meals, there’s a tavern in the city square and another on the way out. This is the infrastructure of our basic wine producing zone, which is also the closest to the capital. Here in Northern Greece, of course, the roads of wine have been marked. This is a network, which as a first step is exceptional. I write often about this and always welcome it. Because it follows the example that it should be following. Namely, it is not simply a map or some signs saying “this way to winery” or “that way to winery”. No, they are an organization, a company that with very good material, printed, electronic, with social media and all that. It places you in a network where it shows you where the wineries are, where the restaurants are, the shops, even the traditional butchers’, where to find associations with traditional products, and so on. Out exports are in the right direction, but this is the result of private initiative. This is what wine makers do themselves, because they get on the plane, they have their contacts, go to road shows, have good distributors and importers in big markets abroad. We do as well as we could do and in the much better level of the last years, but to an extend this is the result of the crisis. It is necessary, since the Greek market right now, due to its hardships, has the problems it does. There is strategic plan, which is implemented or rather is attempted for the intersectoral to the wine on the image of our wines that is launched abroad. To finish off, what should be done, to my thinking. There must be a central wine tourism body, with the ability to certificate those co-operating with it. In France there is a wine tourism sub-ministry. In Italy there is a national association promoting this process. The staff of all co-operating bodies need to be trained, whether these are restaurants, wineries, hotels, shops, everything, for the provision of proper services. As to infrastructure I said it before and will say it again. Communication and advertisement is needed in Greece and abroad, mainly abroad and to the markets that we can target and are developed and then all media and particularly the social media need to be used to that end. If we handle the wine tourism issue right, the future is ahead of us.
Agronomist, KORRES / Research and Development Department “KORRES-Herbs/Collaborations/Extractions/ Research” I will try to briefly present our activity in the plants industry. In the last three years, the company has developed the sector of exploitation of certified Greek organic raw materials linked to Greek herbs. We say “Greek herbs”. But what exactly does this term mean? Usually we use aromatic and pharmaceutical plants, namely plants with aromatic and pharmaceutical properties. However, there are also other plants, as you can see in the list, which do not fall under this category. They are fruit trees or others. Namely, all plants can potentially be considered pharmaceutical plants to some extent, due to their active substances. Our philosophy is as follows. We begin with the herbs. We do research on the herbs and based on that we form co-operations throughout Greece. These co-operations, as I told you, are certified for their organic production as set by the organic farming regulation, the European regulation for organic farming, and the result of these co-operations are herbs that we get for extractions. Already an extraction unit has been created, which is pioneering in Greece and with this unit in this phase we are independent as regards the use of raw material for our cosmetics. How are these co-operations formed? To begin with, we have a permanent co-operation with the Farming Department of the Agricultural University of Athens, and particularly with the laboratory on organic farming issues, which notifies us of the appropriate regions for each of the herbs we are interested in. Based on that study, which is not extensive in Greece up to now, we try to quantify our needs and, with their help, we also provide more comprehensive technical support to co-operating producers. Almond trees, Achillea Millefolium or Achillean as it is called, Wormwood, Laurel, Echinacea, Thyme, Calendula, Chestnut tree, Quince tree, Orange tree, Pomegranate tree, Ruscus aculeatus, Saponaria (soapwart), Fig tree, Wild Rose Hip, and Sage. This is the first list of the plants that we submitted to the university and the first list we were interested in working on. Every year this list is updated based on the needs, new demands and the results of the research obtained from our own work. As agriculturists, we cannot choose one supplier for cooperation. We must have at least two or three, because the possibility of not getting raw materials depends on multiple
factors, such as the climate, the soil, natural disasters; all these are factors that make us chose more than one candidates as suppliers. How do we choose our final suppliers? We combine factors relating to the recommendations of the Agricultural University, quality factors on the samples assessed in the laboratory, but what also contributes to the assessment process, obtained in quantitatively from an assessment form and rated, is social criteria as we will see further on. Namely, we have decided to choose regions with a lower financial standing, e.g. Thesprotia, one of the poorest regions in Europe, or border regions such as Samos, Komotini etc., and bodies that have a special social role. As we shall see, such are the therapeutic community of Ithaca or the prison of Agia in Chania. Here are some of our co-operations. We co-operate with the mastic producers of Chios, with the Association of Saffron producers of Kozani, the Agricultural Association of Aromatic Plants of Agrinio, which is a new dynamic association of producers who used to be active in completely different fields before. Also, with the Fig Production Association of Kalamata “Sykiki”, the association that collects the total product from Peloponnisos. I mentioned the rural prisons of Agia and Tiryntha before. Agia also practices certified organic cultures, allowing the rural prison to prepare its inmates for rehabilitation. Now, in Central Macedonia, although there are not many cooperating producers, we do have some co-operations, which are crucial to us. These are the Ithaca therapeutic community, where Achillea is produced, the American Agricultural School in Thessaloniki, with its special role in Northern Greece. Our company was created 14 years ago by Giorgos Korres and is now a limited company. We produce both liquid and dry extractions. Namely, we manage to reach a point where we have eliminated all the solvent and keep the dry extraction, which is also easier to store. Our unit is environment friendly, given that the only solvents we use are water and glycerine or a water and glycerine mixture. Now we are making efforts to also use alcohol. All these cosmetics you see have many ingredients and you will see many organic solvents, of which we use none. And to finish, research on the Greek flora is combined with chemical research and formula development. We also have non-cosmetic products. They are foods. For example, we recently entered the field of dietary supplements. The key logic is that there is a two-way relationship between plant research and formula research. Thus, the whole activity moves forwards. Thank you very much.
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
Oenologist, Domaine Leflaive “Wine terroirs of Naoussa: attract the wealth of the world” I come from Burgundy where we produce some white wines exclusively from the grapes of Chardonnay and the Domaine Leflaive where I work is an expert in organic and biodynamic farming. I have brought this stone from the terroire of Naousa, from the place called Paliokalias and I think it’s a very beautiful piece of stone and for me what I’m amazed of is the complexity, the mix of mineral and the rest of organic life, which is very complex in this type of stone. If I would be a geologist I could have spoken for two hours about the stones, because generally when people talk about the terroire, they tend to focus only on the soil and the other ground, which is a very important part, but today I want to focus on something that is even more important for me; it’s the human factor in the terroire. I want to start with a quotation of Aubert de Villaine, owner of the most famous red wine in France who says that what really makes terroire is the continuous will of a group of people, civilized people who live on a specific place and have a continuous will in understanding the land observing nature. Second in developing know-how, know-how in agriculture, know-how in vinification, and passing on from generation to generation and the third point is a continuous will to have the wine be known outside the region. I want to share first a small story that happened to me and it’s explaining the title “Wine Terroire Naousa attract the wealth of the world”. A few months ago I was working with an advisor on financing the purchase of new vineyards in Burgundy for Domaine Leflaive and it was very complicated because now the land in Burgundy is very expensive. For the best white wines where I work at the Grand Crue now the prices are ten million Euros per hectare. So, I was really complaining about this impossible price and the advisor told me “Antoine, you have to understand that Burgundy is attracting the wealth of the world”. That’s why the wine gone selling at such a price. To give you an idea the average price of the wine we sell on our own is 50€, when they exit the Domaine and they go on selling very well during the crisis. And at the same time, the price of land has never been that high and what we see in France is even though the stock exchange is going down and has a lot of trouble, the money goes on coming from French
investors and also English investors, American investors and now even from Asian investors. So, there is really a potential of attracting the wealth and we really have to remember that not so long ago in Burgundy, in the 60s and early 70s it was not at all the case, even though the wines were good but it was not the case and the good story is that the French state had planned when they built the speedway that goes from Paris to the south of France, it was planned to go in the best terroire of white. So, for those who know France is the speedway No A6, and it was planned to go directly in the middle of this vineyard. So, there was not this consciousness of wealth at the time and nowadays nobody could have this idea anymore, because it’s much more expensive and everybody would fight against. Naoussa, now. For me in Greece there are two jewels in the wines. The first is Santorini for the white wines that are really discovered a few years ago and second is Naoussa for the reds. For Naoussa, I won’t say we are too wrong about the terroire itself, but it’s true that what makes Naoussa unique and exceptional is the combination of the soil, the special variety of xynomavro that allows to produce a very distinctive wine and the weather. And what I really pick as a quality of the wine of Naousa is the ability to develop with a few years of aging the elegance. Elegance is something that we don’t find very often nowadays in the world of wine. For example, if we take Greek wine, what has been done in the last decade in Peloponnesus generally is more something international with French varieties. So, Naoussa has a very strong personality, unique, different. Now, this finesse, elegance is something that it is shared with two other regions in Europe; Piedmont and Burgundy. And I want to really make a quotation that I found in a French wine newspaper. It was written in 1831 by Marie Cuisinerie. “The wine of Naoussa is for Macedonia what Burgundy wine is for France. It’s price is twice as much as all other wines in Greece and I can assure you that the wine of Naoussa is considered as the best of all Ottoman Empire.” So, that’s what the story is telling us. So, the potential is there. Now, what’s for the future? Innovation. We talked a lot about innovation. I have seen in the conference very innovative process. What I want to share with you is that nowadays in Burgundy and I think in many wine regions, top quality regions, innovation in agriculture is not about new process, new invention, new device. It’s about putting together the good scientific knowledge that we have
acquired and respect nature. I am very confident for the future of Naoussa for two reasons. The first reason is that the wine of Naousa is one of the greatest of this area. And the second, even more important, is the young generation of wine makers, because the wine makers, when it is about tourism, are the first ambassadors and they are the people who travel every year to have Naoussa known outside. Young people who have a very high knowledge for their age and very aware of the potential of the terroire. Such people as Kostis Dalamaras, for example, or Apostolis Thimiopoulos and few others that I’ve seen, for me it’s really the strength of Naoussa and I really want to say go on, the more you work on it, the more gold for the next generation.
Professor, Faculty of Fine Arts, Aristotle University Thessaloniki “Students and culture: The Students’ Week experience” I will begin with an observation. Culture is immeasurable or at least is not measurable to my mind. Now, the issue we are dealing with here is culture and development. Originally, they are identical; thus, development is culture. Now, whether culture alone can bring development, that is a question that I cannot answer either. Do people deal with art and culture? Does this indicate development? I think not. Namely, it is all
the other things that must exist for culture to exist. Naturally, there can be no society, in my opinion, which is financially advanced and deemed civilized unless there are arts, if people have no interest other that production. In the latest education bills, to draw a recent example, we see with horror that all must be measurable, must perform. So why should the Humanities and Arts be suddenly exempt from this logic, because what can a man of the arts produce? A work of art? And how much will it be priced? Generally, a key issue is launched, which is vital I think, and concerns the question “what is art”. I will not go there, but I must say that if more or less we don’t determine what the object and essence of art are, we will never be able to see this relation between art and development. To me, art is what the public accepts as art. Namely, a person whether graduate of a Fine Arts School or generally artistic and not a graduate, produces a product. If this product is accepted by others as art, then art it is. If not, it’s not. It’s as simple as that. Of course, the process is very intricate. Who decides whether it is art? What is the audience? How is the audience manipulated? Is a museum curator enough to determine whether this is art? Therefore, the issue is presented, in my opinion, as a very intricate issue as to what art is in general and in every period. What is art today, is it art tomorrow? Or what was art in the past, could it be deemed a work of art today? The issue that I wanted to develop today, is my experience of a students’ festival held at the Aristotle University, and I would like to share this experience because it treads on many issues that concern the relationship of young people with art, which is very important. Right now in the Greek province, the Greek region, I believe that Thessaloniki is largely also deemed a province, despite being a very central city as you know, it is the young people who keep alive this relation of society with art. I think that post-adolescence, from 18 to 25-30 years, are when a person can be involved with art and this can define the person per se, but also their relations with society. This is why I think that my experience is very important. I would like to describe it and then everyone, whether involved with development or observing what happens in a provincial society, can draw its own conclusions. Students Week was a festival held by the Aristotle University, which by 2010 was in its eleventh year, having started in 1999. So it followed a course and reached us in 2006, when I and a committee undertook to organise this festival. This festival called Students Week was not a students’ week. It came to last almost two months, May and
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
June each year, and it was also held for 15 days in November. It was a really long festival and not just a week and kept the said name for historical reasons. I suddenly realized, without ever being involved with Students Week, that the people involved and participating in Students Week were everyone but the Fine Arts School students. This is crucial. It demonstrates the need of young people to get involved with something that concerns art and culture. Drama groups, music bands, other activities were those that were active and wanted to participate in Students Week. Thus, in the first year we had 85 events, which is a great number, if one considers that all this happened fast, there was inactivity due to occupations etc. What our committee did and I think that it was a choice that was finally vindicated, was that we never, ever, excluded any student. Namely, any student, any team wanting to participate to Students Week was approved. It is typical that during the first year, as I told you, we had 85 teams, 85 events. In the second year we had 130, in the third year, 2009, 147 and in 2010 I think that we also had about the same. That means that students had a great need to express themselves. In my view, it is particularly important that this thing bloomed, namely, my experience from these four years is very important; it is perhaps equally important as the teaching of the people who have decided to become artists, because non-artists also participated in this kind of festival. Naturally then, in the last two years, artists who tended to undervalue Students Week because they thought of it as a movement or an amateur festival, came to participate, giving us the opportunity with this participation of the Fine Arts School students to have events that had to do with international events. To cut a long story short, I should mention that Students Week unfortunately was not held this year, with all these events, the violent incidents, and financial hardship. What the university failed to do, although we had stressed it and seen it, was that it failed to create a cultural organization. Imagine a big university, such as that of Thessaloniki with almost one hundred thousand people, without a cultural centre, a space to store the instruments, the sets, a space for the university orchestra to rehearse, a space where people can gather and talk. This is a great shortcoming. Schools all over the world have it. I think that the experience we had at Students Week for this festival will continue at some point. Namely, that the hardships of the university will pass and it will continue, because I think that young people need to be involved with culture and art and then they shall be useful for the rest of the society.
Cinema critic, journalist “Culture in the periphery: Is its time over?” Culture is something of a paradox. Few know it, everyone respects it, and at times of crisis, mainly financial as the one we are currently experiencing, everyone blames it. Namely, we can live without it. And to be a bit more cynical, in every conversation where funding is involved, even those who don’t say it aloud, certainly think “we don’t even have bread to eat, but we now want butter to spread on our behinds” to phrase it crudely. What I am trying to say is that I am afraid that the golden era of culture is long gone and despite the general nagging of its own people, who form a strange sort of society, they belong to what everyone respects, all of a sudden the man of culture and arts, despite being seen as a bit of an eccentric, a bit of a culture lover, a bit of this and a bit of that, has basically won the respect of society, being involved in something good. He has read five books, so to speak. At that stage, then, everyone was nagging and that stage is the years after 1980, what we usually chart today in the crisis phase and refer to as a thirty-year period, at that stage then, money was spent on culture. Let us not lie and be ungrateful, despite the fact that the people of culture were constantly nagging. The question is: did that money circulate properly? Namely, was it properly allocated? Did civilization based on this education and culture, which we mentioned before, really use these funds properly? The answer is more than obvious: No. Because, had that happened, we wouldn’t be here today. It is not too naïve to claim that above all, money shortage was the result of a lack of education. I will explain this briefly, because it might sound culture-central. Nouveau-richness, which is the phenomenon that led Greece to its current state, cannot but be related to lack of education. Because anything produced in this land in general, not only in the province, though mainly in the province, is the result of isolated and sporadic efforts. Therefore, driven by the development of the land’s economy, Aquaculture TEIs would open in Giannitsa, utterly absurd things, which finally were structurally distinct for their party politics-orientated development. Party politics, as very aptly mentioned by Giannaras, is the key cause of all our woes today. It originated from universities, particularly provincial universities. Therefore, education firstly certainly bears a share of liability for the crisis. Secondly, culture, where the money spent was largely wasteful, did not create the
necessary connections with people. The European Union was the first to care or wish for the circulation of money to benefit regional development, which in Central Macedonia or rather in the entire Northern Greece happily benefited by the Egnatia project. Let’s be honest, regional development in culture without a central road, without a route happens nowhere in the world. Thus, what they discovered in Europe in the 90’s, was that city brand names were the base for the cultural and touristic development, I only heard it being discussed now for the first time, just yesterday, in this meeting that we too try to follow them, when there is the natural axis that connects all these places, archaeological, touristic, natural sceneries, wine producing, folkloric throughout Northern Greece. In other words, what are these cities’ brand names? To give an example of a brand city, was Barcelona, which taking advantage of the Olympics was baptized a city of modernism, due to the numerous works of Gaudi but of other modernists too that it has, and was organized as city structure, I assure you that Barcelona is a magical thing the way it changed in a decade thanks to the Olympics and also is the only city that was benefited by the Olympics. Well, Barcelona organized tours within the town. How are these tours organized? With central, either architectural works or works of arts, namely, of any forms, monuments, statues, and anything else that leads and facilitates the visitor to make this tour in the city or in an area in order to discover what the city has promised him. Namely, Barcelona, city of modernism. It is in this context, from what I gather, that development is attempted, with Egnatia as main axis, the road of Egnatia, which naturally crosses Northern Greece from one end to the other, like the central aorta and tries to allocate smaller branches and arteries to the surrounding cities. One of which is Naoussa. I am not the one to determine what are the natural beauties or any other kind of beauties of Naoussa, what is the characteristic element that it needs exploit, but it is certain that at this phase the festival creates not the beginning of a brand name, no way, Naoussa is not the city of cinema. Well, Naoussa will not become the city of cinema, but the particular festival – a result of sporadic shots – may be the base for further development. And when I refer to sporadic shots I mean that Nikos has spent a lifetime in the ministry, as did all of us who at some point serviced in relevant posts and know what it is to play with power, to not succumb to its demands, to not become in other words a victim of party politics and in the same time to have a gain out of this completely party politics dependant system.
Well, this festival is, for the time being, a source springing with domestic tourism still, because when we talk about regional development we must distinguish it from that of culture, which addresses the interior of a land and that which can also have an international resonance. Namely, side by side stand a festival of very good standards for domestic use, and when I say “domestic” I mean national, but there’s also a museum next to it, one of the best I have seen on the planet, - and believe me I have seen quite some -, the Vergina Museum . I am not referring to the treasures, since they are known anyway, but to the museum itself. How clever and ingenious, I dare say, is its design and the ability to satisfy any visitor from the entire world on a museological level. All these then, must be combined, one place should converse with the one next to it, namely, in the framework of a regional development. What I am trying to say is that there is a common view, that will link it all and will say “yes, Central Macedonia, Land of the Macedonians” and will refer to traditional elements or will say “Central Macedonia, Land of wine”, but these must be conversing, in a structure relating to this central axis called Egnatia Odos (Road), which is in the same time not only a road axis but a cultural axis too. The festival, up to a point on this map, the Naoussa Festival I mean, started out well, and this is its key difference to the respective official Drama festival, there we see that the community is nonchalant to what’s happening next to it, so that you don’t think that whatever is culture is sacred and everyone embraces it. There is this short film Festival in Drama with a large, sufficient state funding, with good films too, which is snubbed by the local community. Why? This is a matter of the organizers to sort out, but it is not a matter to be overseen. On the other hand, here the opposite should happen. Namely, that the festival becomes more extrovert, that it is not only a domestic affair, but these are matters of adjusting the potentiometer, handled at times by the competent person. In the hope that the festival will be related to the entire region and will truly become a part of the cultural map of Central Macedonia and not an isolated, sporadic shot, thank you.
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
Director, Veria Central Public Library “Library and regional development: The case of Veria” To be honest, I was surprised to be invited. Generally, however, I will say that I was surprised because I must tell you, even a year after receiving the award, the Veroia Library, namely the library where I work, has nothing to do with the Greek reality. And will not have anything to do with it for the next years too, I think. “What’s so different about Veroia, the citizens of Veroia compared to the citizens of another city?” In other words, why does Veroia enjoy services of exquisite quality libraries and informatics and other cities near by do not enjoy anything of the sort. What do citizens of the near by cities lack to be deprived of such kind of services? What are they to blame for? Nothing. If we people don’t understand that something is needed to be supported and reinforced, we may lose it. This is our luck. Normally, this should be offered by the state, the bodies, the local government, but even if they don’t offer it, we can now do it ourselves. And this is something that I think everyone should believe in. We can do it on our own. We don’t need none’s help. I must tell you, that 25 years later I am only concerned with creativity and innovation. If a person or some team makes something innovative, even if for various reasons it does not reach production, I take a bow and say “bravo”. Same goes for creativity. All the rest never concern me. To me even culture and education are measurable. We made it measurable 25 years, that’s why we received one million dollars measurable, from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And we received it working for 25 years with fools, who put debts on the country, put debts on the Municipality and continue doing so. This is reality. For 25 years I had no converse with the local community, namely, the bodies. I conversed with the citizens. I am not a populist to say that the citizens made us offer what we did, but we aimed at serving the needs of the citizens. We are a governmental body, but luckily for us, we are not dependant on state funding. We never received or were involved with state funding. This was our vindication. For 25 years, I went to one too many cities in Greece, in openings, in one million things. After many years, I went this year again; it was all burnt. It is not only the bodies fault. The people are to blame too, who are safe in the thought that something will continue existing, while none assures us
that it will. Reality is very harsh. I will also tell you this thing, I will finish because I am really pleased to see mainly young people here. I went to the University in Kerkyra (Corfu) last year. They invited me there, they should have known better, because they had no idea what I would tell them, to honour me, to say what is Mr. Trochopoulos doing etc. The Library Science Schoοl is there too, the professors, everyone’s there, all sorts, who make students. There’s also a Public Library there too, which is a sad mess. The director passed away, and then they appointed none. The state is to blame first of all. There’s no doubt. And I told them “Dialogue? What kind of dialogue should we have? If you don’t undertake this library as a University, voluntarily along with your students to operate it until the Municipality, until the people understand and support and reinforce it, I have nothing to do with you. Nothing at all. Say all you like, that we make studies, that you learn, that you know none helped us …I am not interested in who helps you. I wasn’t helped by anyone either. Will you do it?” “You know, there are difficulties, the students will not respond…” “The students”, I told them “will come if you go first and work on voluntarily basis. You should sit there for three hours a day, serve the public, because if the public realizes the services they can have from a library they will support it then.” It is unfortunate that in our country is that if you don’t receive quality services once, you don’t know what to hire in order to support it. Now, concluding, things are simpler that we think. I am a practical person. If we talk about education and development, this must be set in our prefecture based on what the library of Veroia achieved. Why should we listen any more to the one who had ideas and did not put them to action to this moment? Go away. The other one, with the other ideas, what? What we had, we implemented it. The pace is very slow, if you think twice what you must do, because it will lead you nowhere. Now what concerns me the most is what will become of all these villages, all these young kids, all these young people, who are the only people who are not to blame for the state of the country. The library, since five years now tried to update its services to young and very young children and parents. This is my concern for the years to come now. Grown-ups, all of us more or less did what we did, and so to speak are responsible for everything. Young children are not to blame at all. This is where I think we must all be together, to strive so that there is an environment of creativity for young children, because I only believe in the value of creativity and inventiveness. Not only in the artistic sector, but in every
aspect of human life. I think that it is creativity that at times of crisis can give man the potential to adjust, to be flexible, to overcome the hardship. In this particular hardship I think we must all try our best. This is what the Veroia Library will do too for the following years in a hope to find followers as to action, and not as to exchanging ideas, because to me in general, ideas, are called ideas in English, namely ideas (nonsense), and I was never concerned with nonsense.
Assistant Professor, School of Chemical Mechanics, Aristotle University Thessaloniki “AquAsZero: An innovative material for the removal of both trivalent [As(III)] and pentavalent [As(V)]arsenic from potable water – Process of development and production” We are on a different wavelength right now, in the sense that we will discuss something more technological and measurable. Indeed, measurable with very high precision. So what did we do? We created a material that can be used today, which we will also produce by the end of the year and which can be used in water processing installations to remove arsenic. That is, something completely measurable. I am working on arsenic since the 90’s. Indeed, I have made several process installations and since 2005 I had diagnosed that there was a gap in the relevant technology. Therefore, we developed a material and given a contest held by the Federation of Enterprises (SEB) and Eurobank, the “Greece is innovating” contest, we submitted our idea to be assessed. Thus, the idea, in this contest that received great publicity and included 350 proposals, qualified for the top 10 and then, following an oral assessment of these 10, was awarded the first prize. Now, why was it awarded the first prize? Clearly, it had to combine two things. Number one, it necessarily had to have a scientific background and number two it had to be practical. Then, let’s talk a bit about arsenic, to get started. It is of concern for a great lot of people around the planet. In our country, we have many regions concerned with arsenic. Now then, drinking water along with fish are the two more likely sources of arsenic intake. And what happens when we consume arsenic, with high concentrations of arsenic. The first symptom is skin marks. Namely, in essence the first thing is skin cancer. What does arsenic do? It essentially blocks the hormones that activate the genes that protect us from cancer. In simple words, that is, it is not carcinogen per se, but it limits our natural defence to cancer. It is found in water in two forms: The trivalent and pentavalent form. With the trivalent, we should note that because it is important for what we will talk about later on, is sixty times more toxic. Both of them are usually found in water. Two are the main cleansing techniques. Taking a molecular sieve and removing everything that is in the water, in other words practically by desalinating the water, we will remove the arsenic. But then we have no water left. Distilled
CENTRAL MACEDONIA: A ROADMAP FOR DEVELOPMENT
water is not drinking water. If we had an imaginary pair of tweezers to only remove the arsenic, that would be the ideal. Thus, out of all these techniques, the one that seemed to be promising in the early 2000 and therefore the one to focus on, was the adsorption process. What did we think of doing? Now we are moving on to advanced chemistry, but never mind. The material that we finally produced and decided to bring to the productive process is a nanomaterial, as is the latest trend now with nanotechnology. Now, what did we discover when assessing the environmental behaviour? That anything arsenic is gripped. When you try wash off this thing, to remove it, namely to dispose it in the environment, it essentially leaves no residue. Namely, if you put what is washed off under the water and try to wash it off, it is under the drinking water limit. And this makes sense. It means that it behaves like inactive waste, like gravel and therefore can be disposed in the environment without having the problem of finding it again in your aquifer. From that point onwards we used all this information collected, as engineers to design a system, namely a unit producing this material. We made the designs and then manufactured the unit. This unit is now 95% manufactured and we currently are at the testing operation phase. Now let us go back, to the issue of innovation. When we submitted the original project the way we moved was such, that we had foreseen through the submitted project the existence of a significant fund in the European Union in order to built a unit to produce it, because that to me was crucial otherwise it would be paperwork to no end. Well today there is a gap between research and development. The organizations that fund research today think that their mission is completed when they receive ten projects and say “these two are good, take the money to make them. End of story”. On the other hand, we have entrepreneurs, who most times are not satisfied in simply reading a research. Thus, they die in the Valley of Death that stands between an amazing research and its business development, because these two cannot communicate with each other. There is a great gap and this does not concern only Greek universities, it concerns the entire world. Europe is a bit left behind on that matter, and Greece even more. Now we have reached a point where we openly say that it is time that we supported such activities. Therefore, they are considering the creation of a mechanism of such property, to create spin off companies, to help you with the initial funding for making the original.
And what is it that happened with Federation of Enterprises (SEB) and Eurobank? Because Greece ceased being the China of Europe, if we want to take the step forward, we must create innovative products that can be launched in the market of Europe, and not based on the low production cost. Therefore, this kind of contest was about bringing researchers to a more practical direction. And industry too, because up to now it had only been processing in Greece, did not have the ability, did not want to get involved with research or development. Now, the going gets tough, so both must contact and create a new environment – a bit late perhaps, but it’s never too late – a new environment of development.
Report The key points that we may focus on and which form the common realization in all speeches is that firstly our region has the potential for development. What it lacks is an integrated planning with clear targets, clear listing of its comparative advantages as well as a listing of the steps that need be taken in order to be lead to a course of development. I believe that the human resources is there, and this is proven by the successes in the Greek universities, so that we may reach out in a more dynamic way. What we all need is perhaps a better coordination. Each one of us should leave aside their personal aspirations, view, or anything else and join together in a shared vision. And the shared vision in this case is the development of Central Macedonia. We have the obligation and must keep on fighting, even during this very hard period for our country and this bad situation that we are in. We should keep fighting in order to achieve what today may seem impossible. We should do the unexpected and promote this place. Namely, we should develop extrovertly, consistently, and with a product which is exactly what it promise: Nothing more and nothing less. And I believe that when we all move in coordination to such a direction, we will be able to enjoy the fruits of this effort at some point in the future.
Published on May 9, 2012
Central Macedonia: A roadmap for development | Proceedings of the conference for regional development | 30 Sepetmber - 1 October 2011 Naouss...