The Association of British Travel Agents has joined operators and hoteliers in calling on Greek tourism authorities to take swift action to clear up piles of dumped rubbish on the island of Corfu, in the Ionian Sea. For one more time, the problem has reached the level where tonnes of bags full of garbage are laying bare on the streets and squares of the island. Garbage collection occurs only circumstantially and at certain points, locals say.
Video 31. may 2018
According to travelweekly.uk, one agent reported clients had cut their holiday short as a result of the crisis, while operators said they had not seen a refuse problem “on this scale” before in Corfu.
Licensing problems have meant a controversial new landfill site in Lefkimmi has not been able to operate. Problems with landfill sites in Greece reaching capacity and disputes over refuse collectors’ jobs have plagued Greece in recent years, with Zakynthos also currently affected.
Zakynthos – picture of 20. June 2018, via local media imerazante.gr
An Abta spokeswoman told travelweekly “We have been in contact with the Greek authorities to highlight the issue and request that a satisfactory solution is found.”
The Corfu Hoteliers’ Association and the Federation of Tourist Accommodation Owners have also written to tourism minister Elena Kountoura, fearing tourist numbers will be hit by negative visitor comments.
Sunvil managing director Chris Wright said clearing the rubbish was taking longer than expected and that some resorts had moved rubbish away from tourist areas to main roads (pictured).
“The situation is starting to resolve itself. We will continue to work with the tourist office in London and Athens to push for a long-term solution,” he said.
Olympic Holidays sales and revenue director Michael Vinales said bookings had not been affected. He added: “We continue to monitor the situation.”
Greek National Tourism Organisation UK director Emy Anagnostopoulou said the issue was being dealt with. “Waste management is complex, which can be a difficult case when islands are involved. Cleaning is under way and we may need 10 more days to complete this task,” she told travelweekly.
The problem follows the closure of a full-up landfill site in Temploni in February.
Protest: Enough is Enough
The local community is organizing one more protest on Friday, June 22nd, demanding health and dignity. The calls in Greek and English are spread through social media and a dedicated event page on Facebook.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
Citizens and friends of Corfu
We shall meet on Friday the 22nd of June at 20.30, at the new pedestrian road, next to the Municipal Theater.
We demand legal and permanent solutions that will include total handling of garbage and proper recycling.
Our health, our economy, our dignity depend on these solutions.
We shall all gather to say that
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
According to local media, 5,000 tonnes of garbage lays on the streets in the last tow months.
Garbage on Fire
Fires broke out in early morning hours of Friday in two areas full of piled up garbage in Roda-Arahavi.
The local doctors’ association as well as the department of Corfu Technical university are warning of the dangers for the public health and the environment due to the toxic fires in the garbage.