NEWS

How this country dumps on its natural surroundings

In all areas regarding the environment, Greece’s performance leaves a lot to be desired. Particles. Greece is the EU champion for air particles with concentrations well above the set limits. Excess amounts of 10mg/m3 cause 5,000 deaths in Athens annually. Waste. Greece has 2,200 illegal landfills, 10,000 garbage dumps in river beds and several landfills that are saturated. These landfills emit greenhouse gases. Development. The country’s development is highly polluting. Within a decade, carbon dioxide emissions have increased by 26 percent and garbage per head by 40 percent. Water resources. Signs of drought are discernible in 35 percent of its soil while the water table has dropped in many areas to dangerous levels. Argolida and Thessaly suffer from brackishness in water supplies. Water contamination. The groundwater in Attica has been contaminated with heavy metals and toxic substances due to unchecked industrial activity. In rural areas water contains nitrates originating from pesticide use. Fuels. Almost 30 percent of petrol is contraband. Petrol used in shipping contains 1,000 times more sulfur than petrol for vehicles. Green energy. A VAT charge of 19 percent has been imposed on renewable energy resources when in most EU countries the charge is only 9 percent. Forests. As forestry and land-use maps are not available chunks of land are grabbed, depriving the country of its sources of oxygen. Buildings. Energy performance criteria for buildings have not yet been set.