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Dimitris Yannakopoulos


In the rural area of Agrinio, in Western Greece, landscapes, monuments and infrastructures, reveal the deep connection between land, people and the cultivation of tobacco. This connection was disrupted in 2006, when the implementation of national and EU policies resulted in a situation described as “the end of tobacco” (Kamberis 2016: 44-45). Since 2011, many inhabitants, previously engaged in the traditional economic practice of tobacco growing, begun to offer for sale their product once again. However, adapting to the current economic hardships, they cultivate and sell tobacco away from any intervention of the state, avoiding the taxes it imposes and bypassing the middlemen who benefit the most, when selling is legitimate. They establish thus a ‘shadow economy’. Aiming to sell greater amounts and maximize their profit, they activate extended social networks, usually based on kinship or friendship, that often range statewide in memoranda Greece. Research conducted on the field indicates that tobacco producers take advantage of the gaps between legality and illegality that appear as an outcome of the absence of the state as a regulatory agent in a moment of generalized crisis. The result is a livelihood based on the production of new, local perceptions of legality, morality and value.

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How to Cite
Yannakopoulos, Dimitris. 2019. “SUBSISTENCE, ILLICITNESS AND TOBACCO IN A SMALL GREEK TOWN”. EthnoAnthropoZoom/ЕтноАнтропоЗум 17 (November), 101-39.
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