Περιφέρεια Δυτικής Μακεδονίας
|Region of Greece|
|• Regional governor||Georgios Dakis (ND)|
|• Total||9,451 km2 (3,649 sq mi)|
|• Density||30/km2 (78/sq mi)|
|ISO 3166 code||GR-C|
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 the major part of the population (56%) lives in rural areas. 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).
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.
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.
The population of West Macedonia was 283,689 according to the 2011 census. Today, the region has a mixed population of Greeks and Slavophone Greeks. The former are mainly concentrated in the towns Florina, Kastoria and Ptolemaida. There are also around 1,400 Slavophones—approximately 0.5% of the local population—who profess an ethnic Macedonian identity. Other smaller communities include Aromanians and Arvanites.
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|
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.
- West channel - Kozani
- Top Channel - Kozani
- Kanali 28 - Grevena
- TRM - Grevena
- Flash TV - Kastoria/Kozani
- Dyktio - kastoria
Vigla - Pissoderi ski resort in Florina
- Detailed census results 2011 (Greek)
- 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.
- Usage des langues minoritaires dans les départements de Florina et d’Aridea (Macédoine); Riki Van Boeschoten
- 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.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to West Macedonia.|