Landfill sites named

Taking a decisive step in one of the most contentious issues that the government faces, Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou presented Parliament late on Friday with an amendment naming the location of six new waste management sites in eastern and western Attica. It also proposes the sites of related facilities closer to the capital’s center. This prompted angry reactions by about 150 citizens who live near two of the sites – Polydendri and Kapandriti – prompting them to close the Athens-Thessaloniki highway in protest yesterday. Police used clubs and tear gas to disperse them and citizens scuffled with riot squad members. The roadblock was set up shortly after 8 p.m. and traffic was returning to normal about three hours later. Eight people were detained. The landfill which now receives Attica’s waste at Ano Liosia is unable to accept any more and Papandreou had pledged to name new sites by the end of May. She did this at the very last moment, on Friday night. The legislation says that it aims «to solve one of the most serious problems which the region of Attica faces and will continue to face.» It is signed by Papandreou, Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis, Health Minister Costas Stefanis, Agriculture Minister Giorgos Drys, Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos and National Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis. Eastern Attica is to host four new landfills: at Mavro Vouno in Grammatiko, Trypes in Polydendri, Vragoni in Keratea-Lavreotiki and Latomeio Kyriakou in Kropia. The western Attica landfills will be at Skalistiri in Fyli-Ano Liosia and Meletani in Mandra. Furthermore, garbage is to be sent to the islands of Kythera (at Lachnos and Potamos) and Antikythera (at Myloi and Kokkinos Lakkos). The amendment also sets out central way stations for garbage at Elaiona in Athens’s industrial zone and at Schisto in Korydallos, while establishing that six places are suitable for such way stations at Hellenikon-Alimos, Glyfada, Kifissia, Hamomili, Goudi and at the Hymettus ring road intersection at Kaisariani. A parliamentary committee is to begin discussing the proposed amendment tomorrow morning. Citizens who live near the sites that have been named can be expected to put up impassioned resistance.

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