Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Greek govt continues on wrong environmental path

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Environment Minister George Souflias kicked off another New Democracy term by:

– Supporting forest reclassifications based on aerial photographs from 1960 and not 1945, thus including less razed forestland in the forest registry for protection and reforestation; the EU has repeatedly warned Greece to not do it

– Opposing a separate Environment Ministry, which Karamanlis promised would be set up in pre-election speeches (he’s now backed down)

– Saying he will stop the Finance Ministry from allowing the Municipality of Zacharo to develop parts of burnt beachfront property

– Paving the way to legalize hundreds of illegally constructed buildings, which he justifies will contribute to the local economy

– Playing down the advice of experts who believe a sensitive ecosystem protected by the EU’s Natura 2000 program will be disrupted; in addition to ignoring the fact that less forestland in the registry will amount to less oxygen for Athens

Summarized and compiled from this Kathimerini article and those attributed above

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3 Comments »

  λ:ηρ wrote @ September 20th, 2007 at 17:29

Souflias represents the collective mentality of Greeks about the environment in general. This, unfortunately, poor mentality can be traced to a complete lack of environment education — or education altogether. The lack of experiential learning in K-12 (dimotiko, gymnasio, lykio) especially in environmental topics, is tragic. The ignorance propagates through future generations, which will continue to tolerate the Souflias of their time.

Also to blame is education at home — children learn by observing: parents, family, social network of family. Parents are unaware of this learning process or they play down its significance.

Generations of Greeks have grown from age 0 to 18, with minimal or no experiential learning about the environment, societal norms, etc. The result? Well you see it every day.

This is a problem that can be solved. If only there was the political will to do so.

  Kat wrote @ September 21st, 2007 at 01:16

That’s true from my limited experience. Most of my friends had never heard of recycling, reusing items and shopping responsibly. I suppose there are more important things on their minds.

I changed the habits of my over 30 fiance siga siga, and he’s doing fine now but still fights me on plastic bags. I can see him rolling his eyes when I lecture about tetra packs and taking our reusable bag to the store, but it’s 200 percent better than before, which was no awareness at all.

With political wrangling over textbooks, I don’t see environmental education making it into the classroom. At home, I unfortunately see that as nearly impossible as well. I’m not being pessimistic, just realistic. As it is, the recycling plant that prepares material to be reused ends up putting the majority of it in landfills anyway since corporations won’t buy anything, even though it saves money.

Even laws will do little I suspect, since most admitted they’d rather pay the penalty than change.

  oups…. mas vlepoun…. « lifelong learning experience wrote @ September 21st, 2007 at 13:25

[…] Sep 21st, 2007 by carpediem http://livingingreece.gr […]

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