Grazing for goats

The destruction of the Faliron coastline began before the war. In the first wave of reconstruction, this was extended to the Delta. In more recent years, the beaches of Hellenikon and many others were left to the mercy of pollution and unaccountable building contractors, who continued to dump rubble there with the permission of the ministry responsible. Where has the prime minister been all this time? Who is responsible for the fact that the area now being cleaned up for the Games had over the past 20 years become a «rubbish dump, a grazing ground for goats, a dumping ground for old cars and motorcycles» as Simitis himself so aptly described it at the launch of the Olympic venues. If Simitis took more frequent tours – and without all the media fanfare – of Athens’s districts, and some of the smaller towns in the area, he would be aware of the reality which the Olympic overhaul is attempting to cover up. The waste management project on the islet of Psyttaleia is much more important than the steel-roofed sporting venues now displayed along the Faliron waterfront. But it is taking more than 10 years to complete. The seaside promenade «from Faliron to Glyfada» Simitis talked about is a nicely romantic notion. Created hurriedly for the propaganda machine on our TV screens, it makes our usually serious and moderate prime minister look ridiculous.