For residents, idea of WTSs stinks

Alliances have been formed over the last few days to deal with the problem of garbage in the face of a groundswell of protest. The regional waste management scheme for Attica, on which YPEHODE’s bill is based, has acquired three important allies. The local authorities of Attica – the most interested parties – and the Central Union of Municipalities (KEDKE) have unanimously approved the regional plan. Athens Mayor Dora Bakoyianni proved a third staunch ally. As a member of the KEDKE board, she voted in favor of the scheme and of waste treatment facilities. The decisions were made in meetings attended by residents who are reacting to the creation of landfills in their areas. They condemned their elected local authorities, demanding that the garbage be sent – by preference – to Evia. While the central local authorities appear to be of one mind, not only on the necessity of solving the problem immediately but also on the way proposed by YPEHODE, inhabitants, mostly of western and northeastern Attica, are engaged in dynamic demonstrations, including blocking the National Road to Corinth. Action is also expected from residents’ protest committees in northeastern Attica. But YPEHODE Minister Vasso Papandreou and Dora Bakoyianni have introduced a new element by once again bringing up the possibility of incinerating garbage, which had been rejected under former Planning Minister Costas Laliotis. Vasso Papandreou last Saturday declared that «Community directives provide for all methods [of dealing with garbage], and we shall allow all of them here.»