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Tuesday, September 13 2011 , Your time is 15:58:00
A file photo from Greek island of Mytilene. DHA Photo
The Greek island of Ikaria has demanded to join Austria on the grounds that a 1912 agreement to join Greece out of fear of an Italian invasion has now expired, allowing it to seek independence, daily Vatan reported today.
The island, which is famous as a stronghold of the radical Greek left, has routinely criticized the central government for forgetting about the island for years, Italian daily Libero reported.
"We are tired of Greece's attitude. We want independence," an activist from the island said.
Because independence would be difficult, however, the activists would prefer the island to join Austria as it is one of the richest countries in Europe, according to reports.
The activists also said they did not want to join Turkey, which is 60 kilometers to the east, according to reports.
If Austria ever agreed to accept Ikaria, Vienna would be forced to take on Ikaria’s 250 million-euro share of Greece’s debt.
The Greek Embassy in Vienna has said surrendering Ikaria is out of question, noting that the 1923 Lausanne Treaty gave Greece the island.
Austria has not commented on the matter.