Ministry is monitoring the situation

Recognizing the existence of the famous Athens smog, Environment, Planning and Public Works (YPEHODE) Minister Vasso Papandreou told Kathimerini, «The measures to curb pollution in Athens are part of a broader, long-term scheme that was announced in July 2002.» YPEHODE is making great efforts to monitor the situation, with 18 centers in Athens making 600,000 measurements a year. «Ten thousand checks are made annually on vehicle fuel quality, 3,500 checks on fuel-burning sources, 350 checks on the quality of transported fuel. At the same time, in 11 cases in 2002, a total amount of 2,008,000 euros in fines was imposed, during the regular checks carried out on factory buildings,» the minister said. She felt the measures that have been taken were beginning to bear fruit. «This emerges from comparisons of pollution measurements in 2001-2002 with those of 2002-2003, as well as from the fact that there has been no need to take emergency measures.» On a national level, besides the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, «YPEHODE has devised the National Program for the Reduction of Greenhouse Gases (2000-2010).» Its basic goal is to «maintain international obligations undertaken by the country with measures restricting gas emissions, chiefly in the energy sector.»