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The case for Keratea landfill was postponed, residents continue their protest

07 January 2011 / 15:01:56  GRReporter
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Residents of Keratea and neighbouring municipalities have been protesting against the making of a landfill in the area for 27 days. The municipal council led by the mayor, residents, students and representatives of organizations have been demonstrating their disagreement almost every day since December 11, 2010 - sometimes peacefully, sometimes violently.

There was a tension last night again. Shortly before 10:00 pm light and sound shells were heard to explode in the fields in the area of Ovriokastro where police forces were deployed. Tens of residents gathered on the road to Keratea half an hour later and stopped the traffic by blocking the road with municipal trucks for waste transportation in order to delay the riot forces to shift. There were no clashes unlike the other nights. Instead, a Pontic folklore dance group arrived at the barricade and people had fun.
Today Lavrio District Court was supposed to consider the appeals of the state against the decision the same court announced about 11 days ago for suspension of the landfill building in Keratea. Then the court accepted residents’ claims that the fields, where the landfill is planned to be built, still belong to them as they have not been alienated, and that there are archeological finds in the region.

The case did not take place due to the absence of one of the defenders of the Lavreotiki municipality and was postponed to February 2. Representatives of a number of municipalities in the region and citizens protesting against the construction of the landfill in the area of Ovriokastro had gathered in front of the the Court building.  

If the appeal is dismissed by the court, construction works will be suspended. Residents have lodged a claim at the Supreme Court of Cassation which is expected to be discussed on January 12.

The Lavrio court's decision is particularly important because the tension is steadily increasing and there are every day clashes between people who build road barricades to prevent the transportation of construction equipment and police forces. As the new mayor of Keratea Levantis Costas said: "We are here and will continue fighting. This project will not be implemented. The daily clashes with the police could probably lead to blood shedding."
The "hot series" started in the early morning of December 11 when the construction company tried to start the works to build the landfill. Residents, organizations and municipal authorities, however, were ready and waited for the arrival of the construction equipment. Serious clashes with police followed in which six people were injured.

The Interior Ministry announced the same day that the construction works in Keratea started and will be held to the end.

The next day, the clashes were of the same force and tension. A journalist from ALTERA TV was wounded then. The court in Lavrio ruled suspension of construction activities in the area of Ovriokastro on December 13 and the state lodged claim against it several days later.

Tensions and clashes continued the next days. Protesting people didn’t give up and police remained at the blockade made on the road to Lavrio. A civil committee of initiators organized a concert on December 23 which was attended by over 20 singers and groups, including Vassilis Papakonstantinou, Lavrentis Maheritsas and others. The chorus to the municipality of Keratea had a concert before the police forces a day before Christmas. The chorus sang carols and anthems and the popular Holy Night. On December 26, the residents of Keratea and the neighbouring municipalities blocked the entrance to the Athens airport. Tensions occurred again three days after the New Year celebrations and continued until the night before the last.


Tags: SocietyProtestLandfill
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