Milos residents pave the way

The demand made by the residents of the Aegean island of Milos, as expressed by the municipal council, is clear and self-evident. Permits to mine on an island far from Athens cannot be granted without the consent of the local authorities who, in the end, will have to deal with the many negative consequences that such activities entail. The rationale of the draft bill that will have the central authority deciding on areas for mining activity in the remotest reaches of the country has already encountered strenuous opposition from the Miliotes, inhabitants of an island that has suffered greatly as a result of the consequences of mining. The islanders’ coordinated response once again raises a major issue about development in Greece, and whether it is planned centrally (as in the late socialist republics), or whether local communities will have any serious say in the place where they live. Besides, everyone knows that there is great potential for environmentally aware development. It simply requires a clear framework of rules that are strictly applied so that one step in development does not cancel out another. The mobilization of the Milos residents paves the way for other local communities that are burdened by unplanned mining. In Attica, in particular, where quarries choke many areas, both residents and local communities should have a say.