OPINION

Green golf tourism in Greece

In response to the article on golf tourism in Greece (20 August): as a daily reader, I am really surprised that this article has been printed, for it contained the most superficial statements I have read lately. The conditions in other Mediterranean countries are the same for golf courses as in Greece, and yet they have successfully established golf tourism without leading their countries into desertification. Even in Athens, the Glyfada golf course is a refreshing oasis in a cement city. A golf course is not necessarily against the Natura 2000 scheme. Salination of underground water reserves has mainly been caused by farmers and unplanned tourism development on many islands. A good example for the reasonable development of water infrastructure has happened in Andros, where wind power is used for desalination of sea water. This could also be a good example for Crete. It is just not true that «the country must side-step many EU directives when more golf courses are built.» The EU even supports golf courses if they are managed sustainably, for example by composting of grass cuttings, minimized use of fertilizers and pesticides, ground water recharge through water ponds, etc. For more details and a more complete and accurate picture of golf courses, Georgia Zavitsanou should refer to some of the many organizations promoting the greening of golf courses such as: http://www.eifg.org/who/who.asp http://www.committedtogreen.com/index.html She should also think of the minimal increase of specially treated areas used for new golf courses in comparison with the huge farmland on which daily damage is done to the groundwater and soil. Dr Gerhard Fischer Athens