Commissioner hears Keratea locals? gripes

Police on Monday supervised the removal of a concrete-reinforced road blockade on the outskirts of the town of Keratea, southeastern Attica, a few days after local officials and residents protesting the planned construction of a landfill in the area met with visiting European Environment Commissioner Janez Potocnik.

Residents, who have been clashing with police for more than four months over the planned landfill, said they presented their arguments to Potocnik. They said he showed more understanding than government officials, who have refused to meet with residents until they dismantle their blockades.

The commissioner, who last week met with Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis and Environment Minister Tina Birbili, reassured officials that the prospect of an indictment to the European Court of Justice and heavy fines was fading as a drive to raze dozens of illegal landfills across the country gathers pace. According to a joint announcement made on Monday by the Interior and Environment ministries, 141 out of 249 remaining illegal landfills have been razed since November.

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