Η πολιτική, κοινωνική και οικονομική κατάσταση των κατοίκων του Μοναστηριού και Φλώρινας μέσα από την οπτική της εφημερίδας Φλώρινα του Ι. Θεοδοσίου, του έτους 1916

Part of : Μακεδονικά ; Vol.32, No.2000, pages 205-217

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205-217
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The political, social and economic situation of the inhabitants of Monastir and Florina from the Viewpoint of I. Theodosios's newspaper Florina in 1916
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Articles
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Abstract:
It is a well-known fact that whenever conflict breaks out in a particular area the local press can serve as an important source of information on local and national history. This is precisely the role that is played by one of the oldest newspapers in the Fiorina prefecture, which was published in 1916 and of which issues 1-28 have been preserved thanks to the interest of art-lover G.I. Theodosios. From this publication, which was modelled on the Politiki Epitheorisi of I. Dragoumis, A. Karapanos and G. Bousios, information is presented relating to the economic, political and social situation of the inhabitants of Monastir and Fiorina both before and during the armed conflict that took place in these territories between the Entente and the Axis powers during the course of the First World War. This was the period of the celebrated policy of “Greek neutrality”, which heaped misfortunes not only on the inhabitants of Pelagonia, who lay outside Greece, but also on the inhabitants of Fiorina, who had been incorporated into the Greek nation. The main characteristics of this economic region were insecurity, which led to mass migration, and the movement into Greece of a large number of re­ fugees from Pelagonia, who, despite the favourable laws passed by Venize- los’s governments, suffered the catalytic effects of the obtuseness of the authorities. And while those who were left outside Greece fell victim to the komitadjis who, with the consent of the Serbs, were ravaging the Pelagonian countryside, in the town of Fiorina the mean smuggling racket run by the prefect, the Government’s favourite, combined with his rash diplomatic moves, which legi­ timized the Bulgarian occupation of Monastir, created a nightmarish scenario. Apart from these events of vital national importance, the Fiorina pre­ fecture was faced with an extremely acute food supply problem, which was due to the concentration in the area of a considerable number of Greek, French and English troops, the ban on the movement of goods and personnel imposed by the French, and the presence in Fiorina not only of refugees but also Bulgarian deserters and foreign observers.The situation was made worse by the preservation of the Ottoman system of taxation, which, together with the imposition of a protectionist policy of uniform price control “throughout the Greek dominions”, led to price rises and poverty for the inhabitants of the countryside. All this assumed tragic proportions in a state with opposing zones of con­trol, in which favouritism, unequal access to the diverse range of authorities which imposed their own systems of rules, and indigence prevailed. The only group to profit from these developments was a bourgeois class of retailers who possessed the necessary ability to adapt to the new circum­stances.
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