Clash at landfill leads to injuries

At least six officers and three local residents were injured yesterday as protesters attempted to storm the police barricades around the Ano Liosia landfill as the dumping of treated sewage resumed after a lengthy break. Riot police dispersed tear gas as a group of some 1,000 locals marched on the entrance to the dump, in northwestern Athens, to prevent the protesters breaking through yesterday evening. The locals also set fire to wild shrubs around the landfill, which firefighters put out shortly afterward. Local residents had gathered in Ano Liosia’s main square earlier in the afternoon demanding that the government come up with a national strategy for dealing with the disposal of garbage and close down the capital’s main landfill. They also opposed plans to build one of three new landfills in nearby Fyli. Last week, local officials rejected proposals from Public Works Minister Giorgos Souflias to use a biodegradable process to dispose of thousands of tons of sewage, from the overburdened treatment plant on the islet of Psyttaleia, at the Ano Liosia landfill. After their decision, Souflias said that he would enforce the law and transfer the sludge to the landfill. This was followed by orders to police from Athens’s top prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos to ensure that there were no obstacles to the sewage reaching the dump. Three protesters were arrested during yesterday’s clashes. Three more locals were taken to the hospital but their condition, as that of injured officers, was not made public by late last night.

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