Environmental degradation

The Kifissos River is a typical example of the capital city’s environmental degradation. In early 2007, more than 12 years have passed since the presidential decree was issued setting out the protection zones, conditions and building restrictions, and about five years since the Management and Restoration Agency was set up, yet the Kifissos is undergoing a daily assault with waste and garbage, land-grabbing and illegal construction. Residents of areas along the riverbank are subjected to the odors of garbage and heavy industry and manufacturing units that continue to pollute the river and its banks. There is still a danger of flooding, while the roads above the river add air and noise pollution and ugliness. The tons of concrete over and around the river have changed the microclimate. The Kifissos Management and Restoration Agency needs to do something immediately and to implement the provisions of the law. Every delay only multiplies the problems and pushes a solution even further into the future. (1) Fotis Kouvelis is parliamentary deputy for Athens’s second electoral district and parliamentary representative for the Radical Left Alliance (SYRIZA), affiliated with the Synaspismos Left Coalition party.