A Greek tragedy

Published: Friday 15 September 1995

Is Athens doomed? THE devastating fire which raged through Greece in July ravaging its precious pine and fir forests, might now lead to the flooding of capital Athens. The 3-day fire burnt down forests on 10,000 acres of land to ashes, spelling doom for the city in its wake; forestry experts predict repeated floods and a steady worsening Is Athens of pollution level for Athens as a result.

The government is, however, hopeful. "The ministry (environment and public works) will study antiflooding measures and areas in need will be supported before the rains begin," says Costas Gitonas, the deputy minister of the department. As far as pollution is concerned, the citizens of Athens - which is known to be one of Europe's most polluted cities - are in a state of considerable apprehension. "These forests renewed the air of the city and dispersed pollution. Their destruction will surely have an impact and it will take 20 to 40 years to get them back laments Nikos Hlikas, a resource person on forestry studies in Athens.

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