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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-06-05

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] PM: Environmental policy requires action

  • [01] PM: Environmental policy requires action

    Environmental policy is not carried out with grandiose but empty words, but with projects, persistence, political will, strategy and results, prime minister Costas Karamanlis stressed on Friday on the occasion of World Environment Day, during a visit to the Psytalleia sewage treatment plant, where he was accompanied by Environment, Town Planning and Public Works minister George Souflias and deputy minister Xanthopoulos.

    "It requires political forces that see and recognise the problems where they exist, that speak the truth to the citizens, that dare to apply the policies that the country needs. And on the environment, there is only one choice, that between words and works, between barren nihilism and action, between responsibility and irresponsibility," the prime minister said.

    He explained that environmental protection was a lasting and daily battle, "and there is still much to do".

    The UNEP-designated World Environment Day "underlines the pressing need to actively meet, with determination and effectiveness, the greatest challenge faced by humanity today, which is to preserve the planet's viability".

    Protection of the environment, preservation of bio-diversity, a turn to green growth and renewable energy, tackling climate change, are causes that concern everyone collectively and individually, Karamanlis said, adding that it was everyone's duty join forces and contribute to a common, concerted effort.

    "Greece, fully cognizant of the graveness of the situation, has in recent years been implementing a responsible, structured strategy on the environment," the prime minister continued.

    "Our concern for the environment is measured in projects and calculable results," he said, noting that Greece, which accounts for two-thousandths (.2 percent) of the greenhouse phenomenon is today among the just four EU countries that are within the Kyoto targets," the prime minister stressed.

    The government's institutional initiatives that establish a new framework for environmental protection through the national spatial planning framework, the tripling of installed power from renewable energy sources (RES), the advancement of major projects, the consolidation of 18 new protected regions and the incorporation of more than 20 percent of the country's territory in the Natura network, are measurable results, Karamanlis added.

    The Psytalleia unit was "the most impressive and biggest example of an environmental project, not only on a national but also on a European scale, and comprises the best response to those who, on the crucial issue of the environment, choose the easy, but deeply irresponsible, path of populism, nihilism and lies," the premier said.

    His government's response "is the construction and impeccable operation of the largest sewage sludge treatment plant in is the transformation of a nightmarish landscape into an area of green and production of renewable thermal and electric energy from the sewage sludge's bio-gases, which supply the needs of the ultra-modern installations at Psyttaleia," Karamanlis concluded.

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