Fishy business leads to blockade of Mt Athos
The collapse of talks between Mount Athos monks and Halkidiki fishermen yesterday resulted in the anglers’ decision to block access to the monastic community today in a move which could upset the plans of up to 10,000 Easter worshippers.
The two sides could not reach agreement over fishing rights in the waters of the peninsula on which the semi-autonomous monastic republic rests.
The anglers believe they should be free to fish in those waters. But the law bans any vessel, apart from boats carrying monks or visitors, from approaching within 500 meters of the coast around Mount Athos.
The monks agreed to issue licenses to a few hard-up fishermen but their union is not satisfied. It labeled the current law “unethical and illegal.” In protest, the fishermen will block access to the monasteries from the sea.