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When Andros island was an exile destination


December 3, 2023

Several decades ago, Andros served as an exile destination for politicians and other opponents of the government line.

One of the most well-known politicians sent to Andros was George Papandreou, who served as a minister and prime minister in several Greek governments. He was Andreas Papandreou’s father, the socialist leader who governed Greece for several years. George Papandreou opposed the fascist government of Metaxa in the 30s. As a result he was exiled first to Kythira and then to Andros.

An anecdotal story about his life in Andros is related to his daily habit to get meals in the restaurant of Fragoulis brothers in Chora, Andros. The restaurant was located where nowadays the hotel Niki is. The rumor was that Fragoulis brothers were putting water into their retsina brought from Marmari, a city in Evia known for producing high quality retsina, and sold it as pure retsina. G. Papandreou had created a little poem to tease the owners about it. The poem went like this “Dear Marmari retsina/I beg you to tell me/ who of the two Fragoulis is your godfather?”. Papandreou would recite the poem while pouring retsina into his glass making everyone present in the restaurant laughing.

Photo: Wikipedia