Anastasios Aliferis

Three years have passed since Anastasios Aliferis passed away. He was the Mayor of Tilos, a small island north of Rhodes.

Tasos, as he was called among his friends, was the medical doctor of his island and started a telemedicine project eventually becoming a pilot for islands all over the Mediterranean. Also an unusual bird lover, mobilising over 6,000 ornithologists from all over Europe and the majority of his islanders, in an appeal that lead to Tilos becoming a protected bird sanctuary. In 2008 he carried out the marriage of two homosexual couples, for which he was threatened with imprisonment.

I remember him well from the Kasnäs meeting with ESIN in 2008 and from a meeting in Tinos two years later. I remember him talking about small islands being culturally and geographically defined areas of Europe, having common features but big differences in development levels as well as lacking cooperation. In 2010, he proposed that the European Parliament build a new region comprised of the small European islands.

What a beautiful idea. I promise to keep it alive, Tasos.

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