Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sales time in Athens, forests burn to make way for new developments

Yes its sales time in Athens, what everyone has been waiting for, and i had hoped to write a bit about that but as fires pop up i get so angry that i have to write about them. Maybe i should just just the name of this to FIRE WATCH ATHENS. Sure is catchy, but i wish it were not necessary.


First a little background...
For the past two months community groups have been organising in the suburb of Vyronas and Kaisarianni to protest the proposed land development of the forested area which borders these suburbs. The church 'claims' that these areas belong to them. I say 'claim' because this is disputed and there are court actions to clarify this situation. The church has proposed a series of property developments in this forested area, and also claim to offer cheap housing to those with three children or more.
The locals have been protesting on their own against these land developments for two months, no thanks to the local Communist party who have been covering up the community posters with their own. Whole sections of blank wall to deface and they chose to cover up the local community groups home made posters pleading to save the environment. Bunch of....

Anyway three fires started simultaneously yesterday at around three o'clock. The local fire watch patrol saw a car drive to and from the area where one of the fires started. At the other end of the forested area a moterbike without plates was seen leaving the area by firefighters as they approached and the third fire started at the bottom, close to the road.

In other words the fires were strategically placed to burn of a specific square section of forested land, land which coincidently coincides with the area the church and builders want to develop. Land which has most probably already been sold and earmarked for building.
Coincidently the land burnt included the two hills which offered the best views of Athens.
Coincidently the same land burnt was the land claimed by the church, which excercises certain exemptions when it comes to building codes in Greece.

Coincidently... there are too many coincidences...

Photos taken from http://www.e-tipos.gr/ whose front page headlines "Everything points to Arson"