OPINION

Keratea turns Wild West

I don?t really get what?s happening in Keratea, but I do know that the craziness over there really needs to stop.

The hue and cry and the violence that has arisen over the past few months is supposed to be over the fact that the government decided to build a landfill in the area. But the fact is that right now nothing is being done about it, there are no bulldozers, no digging machines, nothing. Meanwhile, the Greek police have assigned a significant number of officers to the area without really knowing what it is that they are protecting.

One thing that is certain is that Greek law does not stand in that town southeast of Athens. The road to the port of Lavrio has been blockaded by protesters for months and the state daren?t open it. Policemen are forced to sit by and watch as their patrol cars are torched while they are attacked with petrol bombs and threatened with guns, but there is not much they can do because the government is afraid that the violence may escalate and even claim a life.

Of course, there is no other European country, not one, where such phenomena are tolerated without someone being punished even under the most lenient terms. The residents of Keratea may have many well-justified reasons for protesting the landfill and the government ought to sit down with them and discuss them.

However, nothing gives that small number of residents the right to behave like thugs who have no respect for the law or the police.

The situation in Keratea has reached a nadir, a point where it has truly become cause for concern. The controversial yet necessary landfill project, for one, is getting nowhere and no one can say when it will be begin. The state and the rule of law are being ridiculed on a daily basis. The police are subjected to terrible treatment by the protesters and they cannot understand why they need to go through all of these tribulations when the project they are supposed to be protecting hasn?t even got off the ground. Last but not least, there is a group of residents that has lost all sense of right and wrong and has turned this small town into the Wild West.

The situation in Keratea is another example of a ludicrous, typically Greek Gordian knot is that waiting to be unraveled, while every concept of civilized society and a serious state is ridiculed on a daily basis.