Thursday April 24, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
21o C
15o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Smog from fireplaces in Greek cities causes political headache

A photograph taken from Lycabettus Hill in central Athens on Monday shows the Greek capital covered in a veil of smog.

The smog created when unfavorable weather conditions meet an increased use of fireplaces to warm homes became a political, as well as environmental, issue on Monday, with the government coming under pressure from its own MPs to reduce the tax on heating oil.

Multiple warnings were issued over the past few days with regard to the high levels of air pollution in Athens, Thessaloniki and other major Greek cities as a result of households burning wood to stay warm rather than using expensive heating oil.

In some places, air pollution briefly exceeded 150 mg/m3, which the government last week set as a the trigger level at which it would offer free electricity to poor households.

The Athens Medical Association warned people to take care about what they burn in their fireplaces and called on the government to create a more comprehensive policy to deal with the problems people have in heating their homes.

On Sunday, the Health Ministry warned the elderly and asthma sufferers that smog levels in Athens and other urban areas were at dangerous levels due to weather conditions and the high number of people burning wood to stay warm. The Health and Environment ministries had issued a statement on Saturday night asking households to limit the use of fireplaces to prevent the buildup of smog.

These developments prompted 41 New Democracy MPs, about a third of the party’s total lawmakers, to table a question in Parliament about the possibility of dropping the tax on heating oil, which was raised to the same as vehicle fuel last year to combat smuggling.

In an interview with To Vima newspaper on Sunday, Alternate Finance Minister Christos Staikouras suggested that reducing the tax would increase the consumption of heating oil but that the troika had not been convinced of this.

The 41 lawmakers, all but three of whom represent rural constituencies, cited a study by the IOBE think-tank showing heating oil consumption has dropped by about three-quarters since 2009. In terms of revenues from heating oil tax, the government was more than 200 million euros behind its target at the end of November.

ekathimerini.com , Monday December 23, 2013 (21:23)  
Teen boy arrested in Thessaloniki drug bust
European court awards damages for ´degrading´ migrant detention conditions
Police on high alert for Greek Cup final in Athens on Saturday
Three missing from cargo ship that went down off Crete
Greece´s NBG launches 5-year bond to raise up to 750 mln euros
Greece's largest bank National Bank (NBG) will issue a 5-year, fixed-rate bond to raise up to 750 million euros ($1.04 billion) and boost its liquidity, the bank said in a stock market filin...
ANALYSIS
Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
Shut out of international bond markets for four years, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras wasn’t going to take any chances with his country’s return. He began months ago lining up investor...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Never underestimate the Greek hoopsters
Olympiakos and Panathinaikos, who between them have won the last three European crowns, won again at home on Wednesday to take their Euroleague play-off series with Real Madrid and CSKA Mosc...
BASKETBALL
Reds and Greens stay alive in Euroleague
Easter – and home advantage – worked wonders for Panathinaikos and Olympiakos who stayed alive in the Euroleague play-offs beating CSKA and Real Madrid respectively on Monday in Greece. Shak...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Putting the party above the country
The case of Sabiha Suleiman, the Roma activist whose candidacy for the European Parliament was announced by SYRIZA only to be withdrawn shortly afterward, is an illustration of the leftist o...
EDITORIAL
Strong card in debt talks
Achieving a primary surplus and having it confirmed by the European statistical agency, Eurostat, is a significant success for Greece. There is no doubt that it came at a heavy price for a l...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Teen boy arrested in Thessaloniki drug bust
2. European court awards damages for ´degrading´ migrant detention conditions
3. Greece´s NBG launches 5-year bond to raise up to 750 mln euros
4. Police on high alert for Greek Cup final in Athens on Saturday
5. Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
6. Central Athens cleanup a sign of Greece´s turnaround
more news
Today
This Week
1. Putting the party above the country
2. Three missing from cargo ship that went down off Crete
3. Strong card in debt talks
4. Central Athens cleanup a sign of Greece's turnaround
5. Samaras meeting with Dimon key to Greek return to bond markets
6. Police on high alert for Greek Cup final in Athens on Saturday
Today
This Week
1. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
2. Greece startup leaders say they can’t break jobless cycle alone
3. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
4. Government looks to kick on
5. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
6. EU struggles to unpick the knot of Russia-Ukraine gas logistics
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.