No Ker­atea al­ter­na­tive in sight

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

A meet­ing yes­ter­day be­tween En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Tina Bir­bili and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ker­atea, the vil­lage south­east of Athens that has been re­sist­ing plans for the con­struc­tion of a large land­fill, failed to yield any re­sults as the lo­cal of­fi­cials were not able to present a de­tailed al­ter­na­tive scheme.

Bir­bili had agreed to a sec­ond meet­ing with the Ker­atea res­i­dents af­ter they said they had come up with a plan to build a waste man­age­ment cen­ter within an al­ready ex­ist­ing light in­dus­trial park rather than near to the Ovriokas­tro ar­chae­o­log­i­cal site, as the gov­ern­ment plans to.

How­ever, sources said that Mayor Costas Le­van­tis and his team were un­able to pro­vide de­tails about the type of ma­chin­ery and equip­ment they would use if the mu­nic­i­pal­ity built the fa­cil­ity.

Le­van­tis in­sisted that this had not led to a break­down in talks. He pledged that a fi­nal pro­posal would be made within the next 10 days. “The di­a­logue will con­tinue,” he told jour­nal­ists. “They have sim­ply asked us for some tech­ni­cal de­tails, which we will have soon.”

Bir­bili stressed that af­ter a six-month stand­off in Ker­atea, no more time could be wasted as Greece risks los­ing Euro­pean Union fund­ing for the pro­ject.

Mean­while, the Coun­cil of State be­gan hear­ing ap­peals by res­i­dents of Ker­atea and Gram­matiko, north­east of Athens, where the gov­ern­ment plans to build two waste man­age­ment cen­ters for Attica’s trash, against the con­struc­tion of the fa­cil­i­ties.

Hun­dreds of res­i­dents from both vil­lages gath­ered at the coun­try’s high­est ad­min­is­tra­tive court as their legal teams ar­gued that the projects would lead to dam­age to the en­vi­ron­ment and cul­tural her­itage of both ar­eas.

On its part, the state set out the de­tails of what the waste man­age­ment cen­ter would en­tail. Cov­er­ing an area of 54 hectares, it would in­clude a fa­cil­ity where re­cy­clable ma­te­ri­als can be sep­a­rated from other trash, a 40,000-ton com­post­ing unit, an­other unit to process up to 127,500 tons of gen­eral waste and an area that would be used as a land­fill.

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