Athenians blind to own litter

While most Athenians feel their city is not clean enough, only 8 percent will admit to contributing to the problem, according to a survey by municipal authorities made public yesterday. The release of the telephone poll of 1,602 Athenians came one week after a new set of draconian fines for littering came into force – ranging from 20 euros for dropping a cigarette butt to 9,000 euros for mixing hospital and household waste. The survey, which was carried out through the municipal 195 hotline, found that 89 percent of respondents backed the new system of fines, which is not expected to come fully into effect until July, when an extra 500 municipal police officers will come into service, boosting the force to 630 men and women. Some 79.2 percent of respondents said they did not consider themselves to be messy, although 71.7 percent complained that the majority of their fellow-citizens show no respect for the environment. Only 26.2 percent said they found the city clean enough.

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