Wednesday April 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
23o C
15o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
We breathe the crisis

By Nikos Konstandaras

The crisis has found its symbol the thick and bitter smoke that smothers the capital as soon as it gets dark. It covers everything, it slides in everywhere. It drives home the fact that we are living in another era. We all breathe the air of defeat. We still dont have scientific readings and analyses on the effects that it will have on our health, on our monuments and environment, but we know that the smog is the product of our inability to deal with our problems. From symptom, though, it is also becoming the cause of worse problems.

This new plague appears to be democratic, spreading out all over Athenss coastal basin, over the center and suburbs, over rich and poor, over young and old, natives and immigrants. Wherever we go, the smoke clings to our clothes, our skin, our hair, our eyes, our lungs. It waits for us to leave our work and follows us inside when we enter our homes. It creeps through every crack.

But the veneer of universality is thin again it is the poor who suffer most: They live on lower floors, where the toxins congregate, they are forced to burn whatever they find, huddling around open fires and buckets of embers. They will not be able to send vulnerable family members to the countryside. But in the richer areas, too, where fireplaces were just decorative, this year there are no Christmas trees lying on sidewalks, stripped of ornaments, waiting for the dump truck: They have been burned, along with the forests and parks feeding the insatiable capital and other cities and towns.

The reddened eyes, the heavy hearts, the burning throats are they messages from a forgotten past or from a future dystopia? Will the smog disappear as quickly as it came or is this how we will live from now on? Will it harm the children? To the many fears of our time, we add this one.

Our days are deceptive. Cars, trucks and motorbikes go about their business, people rush to work. The image of normality hides the 1.3 million unemployed and innumerable closed businesses. But every night the smog falls on everyone, confirming that we are all in crisis. Higher taxes on heating oil, along with peoples reduced incomes, have driven the search for alternative fuels. The government did not anticipate this. Citizens were not informed of alternative sources of heat, nor were they warned of the dangers of burning whatever is available. Even those entitled to fuel subsidies are unaware of how to get help.

Now nothing can control the pollution. If a solution is not found immediately, this new plague will eat at us for years. Like our debt.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday Jan 10, 2013 (22:14)  
Its too soon for Europe to declare victory
Realitys other side
Enough barbarity
Unanswered questions
Woman dies after falling off state building roof
Police in the district of Peristeri, in western Athens, were investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a woman who fell off the roof of an Attica regional authority building e...
Tunisian sought over employment scam
Police in Thessaloniki were seeking on Wednesday a Tunisian national over an alleged employment scam. The 59-year-old suspect is believed to have charged 102 people seeking employment over 6...
Inside News
Credit Agricole said to seek buyer for $554 million Greek loans
Credit Agricole Leasing Greece, Credit Agricole SAs remaining business in the country, is seeking buyers for around 400 million euros ($554 million) of loans mostly backed by real estate, a...
Greece qualifies for new debt relief after 2013 budget surplus
Greece is set to obtain more debt relief from its international lenders after European officials confirmed on Wednesday that Athens had topped its fiscal targets and achieved a budget surplu...
Inside Business
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...
BASKETBALL
Greens lose badly as CSKA Moscow
Panathinaikos has a mountain to climb in order to reach the Final Four of the Euroleague after losing at CSKA Moscow on Friday for a second time in two days, only this time it was comprehens...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
RECENT NEWS
1. Credit Agricole said to seek buyer for $554 million Greek loans
2. Greece qualifies for new debt relief after 2013 budget surplus
3. Greece, Germany sign deal for IFG
4. NBG to break free of sovereign shackles with senior bond
5. Greece meets budget target for more debt relief from creditors
6. Woman dies after falling off state building roof
more news
Today
This Week
1. FBI seeks to identify victims of suspected US child molester who worked abroad, including Greece
2. Greek debt swells again as Samaras looks to creditors for relief
3. Tunisian sought over employment scam
4. Woman dies after falling off state building roof
5. Greece sees 2013 primary budget surplus at 1.5 bln euros, says deputy finance minister
6. Greece meets budget target for more debt relief from creditors
Today
This Week
1. Greece's market return mirrors return of tourists
2. Greece startup leaders say they cant break jobless cycle alone
3. Ground-breaking Good Friday mass signals thaw in Cyprus
4. Mayoral candidates clash over Athens mosque plans
5. Government looks to kick on
6. Greece offers to help find Turkish F-16 lost in 1996
Find us ...
... on
Twitter
... on Facebook
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.