All of Epirus demonstrates against oil drilling
More than 1,500 demonstrators sent a message against oil drilling in Epirus. At the demonstration that was organized on Friday (1st June) in Ioannina citizens’ initiatives, collectives, parties and municipal council groupings spoke of the degradation of the area’s natural beauty, emphasizing at the same time that Epirus’ abundant water resources were being placed at risk.
ERT1 Greek National State Television
The first pan-Epirot demonstration against hydrocarbon mining took place on Friday evening in Ioannina. The invitation from the “Citizens’ Initiatives” and “Committees of Struggle” of the prefectures of Ioannina, Arta, Preveza and Thesprotia met with a positive response from the local community. People from outside Epirus travelled from Athens to Ioannina to add their own “NO” to oil drilling.
Ilias Efthimiou: Member of the Ioannina Citizens’ Initiative
Epirots were never asked and were never informed as provided for even in the study for the project. Unfortunately the arguments that it just a matter of research is untrue and not in keeping with the agreement that has been signed, which speaks of research and exploitation of hydrocarbons.
Panagiotis Mitsis, President of the “Clean Kalamas” movement:
We have taken a position both against research and against mining judging that this situation is leading our region to genuine ecological ruin.
The objective of the groups involved in the reaction is to prevent the drilling, judging that the effects from it will change the character of Epirus, damaging the advantages it derives from nature.
Pavlos Alexiou: member of Thesprotia Initiative
We judge that this activity is a sellout – another sellout – of the public wealth of this country to foreign energy companies. The sources and the transport routes of energy are daubed with the blood of the peoples.
Vasso Ambelogianni: Arta Committee of Struggle
We will struggle for Epirus. We will struggle for our forests. For our fields. For our houses. And we won’t surrender them without a fight.
The Initiatives and the Committees of Struggle judge that it will damage the primary sector, local products will lose their quality and the area’s water resources, which are among the richest in Greece, will be degraded.
Pella Kalogirou: Preveza Action Group
Oil is death. We all know it. In Preveza we will try to inform the people, who are not informed and every day we speak out against this issue. People don’t know anything and the death agreements have been signed to the detriment of all of us.
Dimitris Dalakoglou, Professor of Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam .
I consider that a process of industrial extraction of oil and in general drilling, the opening of roads, will change for the worse both the cultural heritage and the environmental heritage which makes Epirus what it is.
At the side of the local groupings are the key international organizations Greenpeace and the WWF. Indeed a month ago they lodged an appeal with the Council of State with its central demand that works be halted in protected areas.
Takis Grigoriou representative of Greenpeace
This must be the first rally, the first local struggle, against fossil fuels. It is a historic event. It pleases us very much and truly we admire the local community for their struggle and we are here to show our support.
According to the study by the energy companies approximately ten percent of the expanses under threat are in the Natura reserve in the prefectures of Ioannina and Thesprotia, where the Environmental Action Plan is already under implementation
Επιμέλεια – Μετάφραση: Wayne Hall