From the texts that have been published in MANIOT SOLIDARITY, we can conclude with certainty that there is a continuous change in the productive activities in the region and consequently a corresponding transformation of the perceptions of its inhabitants. All these changes are happening in the same geophysical and climatic background, the characteristics of which are shaping the new transformations. These changes depend on the prevailing trends in the fields of economy and employment on an international scale. Below we will refer to the two transformations which preceded the third one that is currently underway.

The first transformation was in the lives and activities of the inhabitants of Mani, as they evolved in the 18th century until the national uprising of 1821 and the founding of the modern Greek state. Its main characteristics were militancy and the tendency for autonomy, in a social environment devoid of authoritarian powers to restrain them. Βecause it was difficult to secure sufficient family finances due to the limited agricultural productivity, it was necessary to secure the financial resources needed through piracy or armed incursions into neighbouring fertile areas.

The second transformation introduced the model of living and acting that developed during the 200 years that have passed since the founding of the modern Greek state. Since the previous model could not be continued, as it was not allowed by the legal order of the new state, it was necessary to find new ways of economic balance. The new conditions led to migrations to other places where living and working conditions ensured financial family balance. These migrations created dense Maniot communities in Kalamata, sparser in the neighbouring Messinian towns, and even denser in the neighbouring provinces of Lacedaemon and Epidaurus Limira, as well as in the city of Sparta, in Laconia. Migrations were also frequent, initially in the mining area of ​​Lavrion and denser ones in Piraeus. There was also immigration to other countries, to industrial areas of the United States during the first decades of the last century, and to Australia and Germany during the first decades after the middle of the last century. With the gradual expansion of the educational system of the modern Greek state in the areas of Mani, it was possible to transform the traditional warfare into brilliant careers for Maniots in the areas of the National Armed Forces, but also in journalism and politics. This constant migratory flow reduced the domestic population and, combined with the strengthening of the financial resources of seasonally employed families in neighbouring rural areas during the growing or harvesting seasons, ultimately created a family financial balance.  

The opening of the markets and the possibility for fast transfer of products, capital and people gave tourism, both external and internal, the possibility to grow year by year. Mani, with its unique geophysical, climatic and cultural characteristics, has become one of the areas with increased demand for buying land. These characteristics have resulted in larger numbers of tourists in our area, but also in visitors purchasing plots of land or houses and becoming permanent residents. These facts have also been highlighted by international organisations, specialised in measuring the trends of traffic in the various regions, and have led to Mani receiving many international awards. From these starting points, in recent decades, a new, third, transformation has begun to take shape, at the heart of which is the tourism “industry” and construction activity. The conditions are now favourable for the restoration of a stable family economic balance, both for Greek citizens and for the many foreign owners of houses and properties in our area. This transformation is in an evolutionary course, and in order for it to stabilise and to achieve dynamic growth at higher levels, it is necessary to improve the characteristics that make our region so attractive. As geophysical and climatic characteristics change little over time, little remains to be done in order to maintain and develop our tourism traffic, but there are still two things that we could do in this regard: a) preserve and promote our cultural monuments and b) connect our visitors with the local agricultural production in order to form model agrotourism operations highlighting Mani food products. These two goals, in addition to the improvement of public infrastructure (roads, squares, ports, water and sewerage networks, etc.), can be achieved only through joint actions by all Maniots who need to understand the new trends and mobilise accordingly. 

The circumstances are favourable, given that at the regional and state level there is positive interest in our area. It is up to our local representatives to document these needs and to promote them through joint proposals. Let us hope that this will be achieved, albeit belatedly, and that the third transformation of Mani in modern times will also bring the expected permanent economic balance.