Wednesday, December 29, 2004

What on earth is going on?

Readers who look to this Blog for a constant stream of informed comment on matters EU are going to be sadly disappointed on this one, as we can only express our complete puzzlement over a development which seems to defy logic.

The proximate cause of our sudden lack of certainty is an article in the English language Greek newspaper Kathimerini which reports today that the EU is coming to the rescue of Athens, dolling out some €200 million to help it with its growing refuse problem.

That much, it seems, could hardly give rise to any great mystery except for one thing. While EU member states are closing down their landfill sites and steeling themselves to shelling out billions to finance unnecessary and highly unpopular waste incinerators, the UK alone having to commit £6.9 billion to that effect, the EU money dolled out to Greece is going to finance new landfill sites.

The funds are to go toward the building of new waste processing plants at Skalistiri in Fyli, Mavro Vouno in Grammatiko and probably Keratea, west of Athens, plus the construction of relay stations, for trucks carting away the capital’s 6,000-ton daily refuse output

It is estimated that the first landfill to be built, in Fyli, will be completed within 18 months — just in time for the closure of the capital’s only existing dump, at nearby Ano Liosia. The EU commission has earmarked some €40 million for the Fyli project, while the construction of the Mavro Vouno site will draw about €16 million from EU funds.

Any which way you look at it, this does not make sense. Why, when we are closing down landfill sites and planning to build a network of expensive incinerators to meet EU requirements is the self-same EU funding landfill sites in Greece? One can only ask, what on earth is going on?

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