Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Keep the noise down!!!!

It has been such along time since I have written, but there is a very good reason for this. Firstly, time has become a precious commodity, since I have been involved in fighting for the right to keep our community, Perdika, an environmentally safe place. Let me get you all up to date on the issue of the gas pipeline and compression station which we were made aware of in September. Since September, the people of our village, more than 200o residents, were informed of the construction of a compression station on the beaches of our village. The transit gas pipeline would be passing through our village and into our seas, transporting gas from Turkey to Italy. No attempt was made by the authorities to stop the plans, and so a group of local people decided to take the future into their hands. Our progress up to now is listed below:

1. Letters to all the authorities and government ministries about our concerns.
2. Meetings with the local authorities about the effects of such industry in this tourist region.
3. Meetings with scientists and environmentalists about the effects of the compression station.
4. Interview with local and national media about this venture.
5. Petitions with over 1000 signatures (and this is only the beginning)

These actions led to the Greek Gas Company DEPA, to a decision. They decided to look for a new route for the pipeline. The nearby town of Igoumenitsa proposed that the pipeline and compression station would be best situated on the outskirts of the town, where an industrial site was planned to be built anyway. The results though are still unknown. DEPA asked the locals in our community to keep the noise down, to not talk about the effects of the pipeline and compression station. The local authorities asked us to keep the noise down, to not fight for our rights, as it was a case of give and take. Our Mayor even had the audacity to claim that we had to let the company plan their route because, as he said, if we didn't then our village would not be given any funding for other plans that have been made.

KEEP THE NOISE DOWN!!!! This is the answer of the authorities and government officials. This is the answer of people who have been voted into their positions by us!!! This is the answer of the Greek State.

Our answer is no. We have rights which cannot be trampled upon by anybody. The only reason we can think of for keeping the noise down, is so that the company can do its job without bothersome locals, without fear of being stopped. If this is a venture of national and international significance, our voices must be heard. We are nationals. We are Europeans. We may live in a village, by choice, but we are not about to let our dreams, our hopes, our future, our livelihoods be thrown away just because it is convenient, less costly and less of a bother to pass through this area.

This is our home. These are our clean beaches. THIS IS OUR LIFE.

Thank you for listening.