OPINION

Coercive tactics

Here we go again. The municipal authorities of Ano Liosia – the site of Athens’s main landfill – on Wednesday issued another 10-day ultimatum to the government to find a solution to the problem of disposing of thousands of tons of treated sewage from the islet of Psyttaleia. The authorities clarified that if the Public Works Ministry pledges not to allow the siting of a new waste processing plant at Fili, in western Attica, they will accept its proposal for the sludge to be put through a biodegrading process at the dump. Otherwise, they have threatened to close the Ano Liosia landfill indefinitely, which would pose a major problem for the disposal of the capital’s trash. Evidently, the municipal authorities’ objection to accepting the sludge at the landfill is not based upon the arguments they have given – overburdening and destruction of the subsoil – but is a smokescreen for their attempts to ensure that a second landfill is not created in western Attica. Their previous ultimatum had been just as coercive, warning the landfill would close unless an «alternative solution» was found. According to experts, the proposal for the temporary «management» of the sludge at Ano Liosia is the most painless, and officials had the opportunity to witness this during their visit to the Tagarades dump in Thessaloniki, where this type of environmentally friendly treatment of sludge has been implemented successfully…