West Macedonia

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This article is about the administrative region in Greece. For other uses, see Macedonia (disambiguation).
West Macedonia
Περιφέρεια Δυτικής Μακεδονίας
Region of Greece
Flag of West Macedonia
Flag
Location of West Macedonia
Coordinates: 40°24′N 21°30′E / 40.4°N 21.5°E / 40.4; 21.5Coordinates: 40°24′N 21°30′E / 40.4°N 21.5°E / 40.4; 21.5
Country  Greece
Capital Kozani
Regional units
Government
 • Regional governor Georgios Dakis (ND)
Area
 • Total 9,451 km2 (3,649 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 283,689
 • Density 30/km2 (78/sq mi)
ISO 3166 code GR-C
Website www.pdm.gov.gr

West Macedonia is one of the thirteen regions of Greece, consisting of the western part of Greek Macedonia. It is divided into the regional units of Florina, Grevena, Kastoria, and Kozani.

Geography[edit]

The region of West Macedonia is situated in north-western Greece, bordering with the regions of Central Macedonia (east), Thessaly (south), Epirus (west), and bounded to the north at the international borders of Greece with the Republic of Macedonia (Bitola region) and Albania (Korçë County).

Although it covers a total surface of 9,451 km2 (3,649 sq mi) (7,2% of country’s total), it has a total population of 283,689 inhabitants (2.6% of the country’s total), thus it is a low-density populated region (30 per km², as compared to the country’s 79.7 relevant figure). This is mainly due to the mountainous nature of the region, as 82% of the total surface are mountainous and semi-mountainous areas. This is also reflected in the population distribution, as a majority of the population (56%) lives in rural areas. The capital of the region is Kozani with 53,880 inhabitants. Other main towns are Ptolemaida (37,289), Grevena (17,610), Florina (19,985) and Kastoria (16,958).

Economy[edit]

The map of West Macedonia region.

The Region has one operational Industrial Area in Florina and another one under construction in Kozani. The secondary sector is very important for the Regional economy, mainly due to the mining activities, the production of electric power (70% of country’s total power is produced in the Region) and the fur-leather sector. However, “soft” structures have not followed the general improvement of heavy infrastructures, a situation that has to be remedied, in order to achieve an overall higher economic development of the Region. The R&D services are at a rather low level: only 3,5% of the country’s total research foundations are situated in the Region. Among them, the Technological Educational Institute plays an important role in supporting the regional research and educational efforts. However, an enhanced interaction with SME’s will be a crucial factor, in order to improve the productivity and the added value of products and services generated in the Region of Western Macedonia. Some of its more famous products are marbles, Saffron (krokos Kozanis), fruits, Florina peppers, local wines (Kozani, Amyntaio), furs (Kastoria, Siatista) and specialized arts and crafts industry.

The Egnatia motorway via Egnatia (Trans – European Network) that crosses the Region, along with its two vertical National Roads, form a network that dramatically improves the transport conditions in the Region and alter its traditional “isolation” image, mainly due to its mountainous landscape. On the other hand, the railroad network is insufficient and the two airports (Kozani and Kastoria) can only serve small passenger planes. The telecommunication network has drastically improved over the last decade, providing the regional population with adequate services and modern facilities.

The last years the region is being developed in tourism mainly on winter. It is the only Greek region without sea coast, but on the other side there are a lot of lakes, mountains, picturesque villages and two big ski centers in Florina (Vigla) and Grevena (Vasilitsa) and one other under construction in Kozani (Velvendos).

The administrative building of West Macedonia region is located in Zone of Alternate Urban Planning (ZEP) in the city of Kozani.

Administration[edit]

The administrative division of the West Macedonia region in municipalities. In shades of yellow, the former Kastoria Prefecture, in red, the Grevena Prefecture, in blue, the Kozani Prefecture, and in green, the Florina Prefecture

The West Macedonia region was established in the 1987 administrative reform, comprising the prefectures of Kastoria, Grevena, Kozani and Florina.

With the 2010 Kallikratis Programme (Act 3852/2010), its powers and authority were redefined and extended. The region is based at Kozani and is divided into four regional units (the pre-Kallikratis prefectures), which are further subdivided into 12 municipalities (down from 61 pre-Kalikratis local administrative units). Along with Epirus it is supervised by the Decentralized Administration of Epirus and West Macedonia based at Ioannina.

Municipality Population Seat
1. Kozani 71,388 Kozani
2. Eordaia 45,592 Ptolemaida
3. Voio 18,386 Siatista
4. Servia-Velventos 14,830 Servia
5. Deskati 5,852 Deskati
6. Grevena 25,905 Grevena
7. Nestorio 2,646 Nestorio
8. Orestida 11,802 Argos Orestiko
9. Kastoria 35,874 Kastoria
10. Prespes 1,560 Laimos
11. Florina 32,881 Florina
12. Amyntaio 16,973 Amyntaio
Source:[1]

The region's governor is, since 1 January 2011, Konstantinos Dakis, who was elected in the November 2010 local administration elections for the New Democracy party.

Demographics[edit]

The administrative building of West Macedonia region in Kozani

The population of West Macedonia was 283,689 according to the 2011 census.[1] Today, the region has a mixed population of Greeks and Slavophone Greeks. The former are mainly concentrated in the towns Florina, Kastoria and Ptolemaida.[2][3] There are also around 1,400 Slavophones—approximately 0.5% of the local population—who profess an ethnic Macedonian identity.[4] Other smaller communities include Aromanians and Arvanites.

West Macedonia. The bridge over the Polyfytos artificial lake of the river Aliakmonas in Kozani Prefecture.
The community of Nymfaio in Florina Prefecture.
Neoclassical houses at the shoreline of Sakoulevas river, Florina.
Georgios Lassanis mansion in Kozani.

The biggest towns in each regional unit, according to the census of 2011 (only communities with population more than 2,000 recorded):

Regional unit Capital Area (km²) Population
Grevena Grevena 2,291 31,757
1 Grevena 13,374
2 Deskati 3,598
Kastoria Kastoria 1,720 50,322
1 Kastoria 16,958
2 Argos Orestiko 7,482
3 Maniakoi 3,055
4 Mesopotamia 2,955
Kozani Kozani 3,516 150,196
1 Kozani 42,604
2 Ptolemaida 32,142
3 Siatista 5,490
4 Servia 3,540
5 Velventos 3,399
6 Krokos 2,977
7 Neapoli 2,323
8 Aiani 2,006
Florina Florina 1,924 51,414
1 Florina 17,907
2 Amyntaio 4,306
Total West Macedonia Kozani 9,451 283,689[1]

Education[edit]

The University of Western Macedonia provides technical education to stimulate growth throughout the region. Students are provided access to top faculty. Popular programs at the University in Florina include courses of study in the Pedagogic Department and the Department of Balkan studies. The Technological Educational Institute of Western Macedonia in Kozani is known for its Department of Energy Management.

Media[edit]

Television channels[edit]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
  2. ^ Roudometof, Victor (2002). Collective Memory, National Identity, and Ethnic Conflict: Greece, Bulgaria, and the Macedonian Question. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 124. ISBN 0-275-97648-3. 
  3. ^ Usage des langues minoritaires dans les départements de Florina et d’Aridea (Macédoine); Riki Van Boeschoten
  4. ^ In the 2014 European elections in Greece, 1,441 people from West Macedonia voted for the Rainbow Party, which represents what it regards as the ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece.[1]

External links[edit]