Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Joni Mitchell is back!

For those of you who don't know, Joni Mitchell is a Canadian singer/songwriter. Perhaps her best known song is Big Yellow Taxi, you know it, it goes "They paved paradise and put up a parking lot". If you don't know it, well go out and find it, its worth listening to. Well Joni Mitchell is back with a new album, can't wait to hear it, and I hope its good.

A while ago Bubbles left a comment on how one comes to Greece and expects to see sunshine all the time, but work conditions are such that you hardly step out of the buildings. Another paradox is that you come to Greece expecting clean beaches but according to the latest surveys, these are fast becoming extinct. A recent report by Reuters reveals that Greece's coastline is increasingly being clogged with pollution, mainly as a result from the tourism industry. (another paradox, tourists come for the clean beaches, causing its destruction - but thats ok, they can go back and leave the pollution for us who live here to enjoy). Just 5 km from the city center, the once prestigious beaches of Faliron where all the 'in' crowd would go, is now off limits as a result of the pollution.

Lacking any real economic development plan, the current government is desperately encouraging the holiday home market. Giving jobs to the construction companies and underpaid construction workers (some claim that most are migrants whose situation is exploited and they get paid peanuts). This puts further pressure on the last surviving coastal areas of Greece. In other words, they are paving paradise and putting up holiday homes/apartments.

Last year the Spanish government for the first time demolished an area on its coastline to re-introduce 'Green' areas. If you don't know, from the straights of Gibraltar up to and including Italy, all concrete, completely lacking any natural environment. While Spain has learnt from its mistake and is desperately trying to reverse the situation, Greece now is intent on repeating this mistake. Why, for the cheap and lazy dollar, no plan or thought required, just destroy what nature we have.

So if you want to see the Beaches of Greece, better hurry before they disappear and "they pave paradise and put up a tourist complex..."

1 comment:

John said...

Hey m8, long time and no comment for me, but as you can see I'm back ;-) . I just wanted to point out, that things are not so bad (of course they could have been better, like everything else) and lately greeks (in general - government, people, local authorities, organizations etc.) are trying to make things better. Of course we have to try and invest more on this issue, but I believe that we still have a unique coastline and amazing beaches to enjoy (us and the tourists).