Illegal tree-felling spreading to cities

The trend of illegally felling trees for firewood, which has become prevalent in the provinces as cash-strapped Greeks seek cheaper alternatives for heating their homes, is becoming increasingly popular in the cities too, with the latest case involving five large trees in Filothei, northern Athens.

The recent incident in Filothei, whose perpetrators have yet to be traced, comes after several trees were illegally cut down in the lower regions of mounts Hymettus and Parnitha, in a park in Nikaia, and in the Athens suburbs of Kifissia, Glyfada and Voula, Kathimerini understands.

The national union of forestry workers has condemned the trend, warning that it is quickly spreading to urban centers.

An increase in the burning of firewood in Athens, Thessaloniki and other cities has been accompanied by a thick smog that scientists warn could pose a public health risk.