Wednesday March 4, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o 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 don’t 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 Athens’s 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 people’s 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)  
Greek officials have ruffled feathers in Brussels for not having good diplomatic manners
Up the creek without a paddle
Populism backfires
Greece and the four month window of opportunity
For Greece, a lesson from Ireland, Kenny says
Greece should follow in the steps of Ireland's “constructive engagement” with Europe in dealing with its lingering debt crisis, the country's Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said. “For Greece,...
Election outcome does not cancel Greek commitments, Juncker says
Recent elections in Greece, won by leftist SYRIZA party, have not changed the fact that the debt-wracked nation must respect its commitments, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncke...
Inside News
ECB glimpse of Cyprus debt shows limits of bank cleanup
There was a time when a Cypriot on a moderate income could take a gamble on foreign real-estate worth more than his life savings. One banking crash, three and a half years of recession and a...
More Germans booking holidays in Greece, tourism chief says
Vacation bookings for Greece among Germans have increased by 12.8 percent compared to last year, according to data presented by the country's tourism chief Andreas Andreadis in Berlin on Tue...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Marinakis fines Olympiakos players
Olympiakos president Evangelos Marinakis on Monday fined the team 500,000 euros for disappointing performances and called on them to make a «sacrifice» to win trophies or leave. "Olympiakos ...
SOCCER
Olympiakos´s Karembeu confident UEFA on top of racism
Olympiakos strategic advisor Christian Karembeu expressed his confidence on Tuesday that UEFA are getting to grips with racism in soccer after suffering abuse during the recent Greek derby a...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. For Greece, a lesson from Ireland, Kenny says
2. ECB glimpse of Cyprus debt shows limits of bank cleanup
3. Election outcome does not cancel Greek commitments, Juncker says
4. More Germans booking holidays in Greece, tourism chief says
5. Panousis says no official decision on undocumented migrants
6. Four-star hotels more profitable than five-star units
more news
Today
This Week
1. Up the creek without a paddle
2. Panousis says no official decision on undocumented migrants
3. Greek officials have ruffled feathers in Brussels for not having good diplomatic manners
4. More Germans booking holidays in Greece, tourism chief says
5. Election outcome does not cancel Greek commitments, Juncker says
6. ECB glimpse of Cyprus debt shows limits of bank cleanup
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. The Greek tax drama
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. Tsipras reversal draws Greek sympathy as party rumblings rise
Advertiser Link
“AMF” PROJECT FINAL CONFERENCE-REGIONAL UNIT OF THESPROTIA
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.