Greek Ministers for Health and Environment issued a joint statement on Saturday evening asking the citizens to refrain from unnecessary use of fireplaces. Stressing that the weather conditions favor the accumulation of atmospheric pollution (smog), the two ministries ask citizens to refrain from using their home fireplaces from Saturday evening until Monday morning, December 14-16, 2013.
By not using the fireplace, “citizens contribute to the protection of public health,” the statement said.
It is the first time such a prohibition has been issued in Greece.
Burning wood for heating became the target of the government already in January 2012, when crisis- and austerity-hit Greeks started to use fire places and wood stoves, especially after the same government rose the tax of heating oil and the previous government had increased the tax on natural gas. No to mention the exorbitant electricity prices that hinder many Greeks to heat via electric heaters or A/C and other heating forms that consume power.
Last month, the Ministry of Environment was reportedly to forbid burning wood in fireplaces and stoves during the days of high air pollution and moreover to impose fines to those violating the prohibition, but so far, not law containing fines has been published. Not to mention that is is almost impossible to control who is burning wood in a city of four million inhabitants like Athens, for example.
Maybe the ministry decided to step back from imposing fines due to the outcry that came from the public.
Not a joke: if we’re not to die form smog, we can die from cold.
Nevertheless, Greeks wouldn’t be Greeks if they wouldn’t act like Greeks, in the sense that Greeks often do as if… , but they don’t do it properly.
The Ministries of Health and Environment did not specify the area affected by smog and in which areas the citizens should refrain from using their fireplaces.
Therefore, everybody should be happy: the ministers for issuing a warning for the shake of the public health and the citizens can keep the fire on as they don’t know if their home is in the boundaries of the air polluted area.
I ♥ Greece 🙂
PS thank God, they allow us to burn our Christmas lights – not out of kindness, stupid. They cash through the electricity bills.