OPINION

Lethal threat from the north

Recent information revealing the extent to which Greece’s neighbors are contributing to the pollution of the rivers running through the northern Greek regions of Macedonia and Thrace has cast the spotlight on a crucial issue which, in order to be tackled, must be placed high on the government’s foreign policy agenda. Because as correct as it may be to lock horns with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the name issue, it is equally imperative to protect the country from the lethal waste being dumped by our neighbors’ industries, which spills into the Axios River and is causing irreparable damage to the Thermaikos Gulf. The Axios, Nestos and Evros rivers are funnels for waste from all over the Balkans. Environmental diplomacy must therefore become a foreign policy issue and common rules of environmental protection drawn up. There is enough pollution and destruction of the environment taking place inside the country. We certainly don’t need the imported variety from FYROM, Bulgaria, Albania and Turkey.