OPINION

Woes and benefits of having quarries

The truth is that nobody wants quarries in their neighborhood. Every local authority is quite justified in objecting to quarry works in its area. Besides, it is well known that every inch of Greek earth is «beautiful land» of «inestimable environmental value» upon which some third cousin or maybe even Alexander the Great is always alleged to have left his mark. Using such logic, not only should we not be quarrying at all in this country but we should begin importing all our natural resources. Indeed, the prevailing logic is that no quarries should be created even if the prospective damage to be wreaked in certain regions would be relatively insignificant when compared to the economic boost such a project would provide. Such quandaries will only be overcome when decision making for the establishment of quarries is undertaken by local authorities and potential economic benefits from quarries are decentralized. In other words, local authorities should decide whether they are willing to shoulder the cost of creating a quarry in their vicinity as well as reap the economic benefits that would come from such a endeavor. For instance, if a quarrying firm were to discover potentially lucrative deposits in some prefecture, it would be obliged to negotiate the cost of its venture with the appointed local authorities. If local authorities are shouldering the burden, and the repercussions, then they should also be reaping the benefits. Currently local authorities merely express their opinion and central government decides. But those whose interests are being affected do not have a real say in what happens.