Ministry calls for rubbish solution

With Athens’s only landfill headed for another shutdown in four days, the Public Works and Environment Ministry laid the blamed for the city’s latest rubbish woes at municipal authorities’ feet by saying that they have failed to take the proper action to keep the landfill operating. The ministry said that its general secretary, Dimitris Katsiyiannis, will meet with the Union of Municipal Authorities in Attica (ESDKNA) today in an attempt to find a solution for how the Ano Liosia landfill can be kept open. There had been plans to build a temporary dump in Ano Liosia until a long-term solution was found but the ministry blamed ESDKNA for dragging its feet over the proposal. «ESDKNA has not submitted the required documents to the ministry and consequently cannot complain,» the ministry said. On Tuesday, municipal authorities said that they will close down the dump indefinitely as it is reaching capacity. ESDKNA officials, however, did not hide the fact that their decision comes just before two crucial rulings later this month, from the Council of State and the Attica Regional Council, on waste management issues. In a further war of words, the ministry blamed ESDKNA for effectively standing in the way of two recycling plants that would have absorbed half of Athens’s daily waste. The ministry has called for an investigation as to why these units are not operating after 72 million euros in European Union funds have been spent on the scheme.