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Friday, 11 May 2018

Gardens of Corfu; Gardens - and Garbage



Book-launch - about the book

GARDENS of CORFU

TEXT BY RACHEL WEAVING
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARIANNE MAJERUS
PREFACE BY MARY KEEN
HARDBOUND WITH DUST JACKET
256 PAGES, 290 PHOTOGRAPHS


PUBLISHED AND DISTRIBUTED BY IMPRESS
IMPRESS-PUBLISHING.COM
ISBN 978-1-9997825-1-1
ASIN 1999782518


*****

Meanwhile, beyond the borders of Corfu's beautiful gardens, the rubbish disposal and waste management systems continue to deteriorate and to inflict lasting damage to the natural environment.

I understand that the authorities have just broadcast the message through radio and TV that old, unofficial (illegal) landfill tips can be reopened around the island to deal with the problem, regardless of possible EU fines, which will not be the responsibility of the Municipality or a call against its budget.

It΄s come to breaking point - but we are not to blame, say Temploni residents! Enimerosi

Burnt-out buildings bear witness to what happened at Lefkimmi landfill facility

The rubbish is your problem - not a police problem

Corfu Hoteliers to Prime Minister Tsipras: We are at zero point

"If Corfu has to face once again the situation we had in 2015 and 2016, with tons of rubbish on the roads, then we will have driven the final nail into the coffin of the country’s top tourist destination".

Residents block access to Temploni landfill and press charges, Enimerosi

"Piles of uncollected refuse are beginning to gather again throughout the island".


Many people seem to think this has only been a problem for the last three of four years, when it's been getting worse for more than ten years.


Here are some excerpts from an article in The Corfiot, from November 2008, by Paul Whyles:

Paul Whyles, November 2008, The Corfiot:
  
"All is not as it seems in this blessed place. If you step to the edge of the road to peer down, as we did last week, to view the green-cloaked hillsides or perhaps to trace the path of a track, a far uglier sight is revealed.

For just a metre from the roadside and hidden from view only by the slope, is a rubbish dump. Rotting soiled mattresses. The carcasses of discarded fridges, their harmful CFC gases long since leaked into the blue skies above. Old car tyres and batteries. Building rubble. An ancient oven. Rusting metal sunbeds and their cushions. Discarded hosepipes. Paint tins, a giant metal drum, corroding tins... and assorted plastic that will take 1,000 years to biodegrade. All dumped without compunction; a stain upon paradise....

And I do not mean a one-off dumping; an aberration for which the perpetrator should feel an eternal weight of lonely guilt. No, as you walk along the road and peer again and again over the edge, it quickly becomes apparent that this is systematic dumping. A befouling of nature on an organised scale. Once one senseless tipping takes place and is left unremoved, it seems, others see it as an invitation to follow suit. A mutually convenient avoidance of conscience takes hold. Sometimes a squalid attempt has been made to hide the evidence with broken-off foliage, now brown and dead. More often, the ugly piles of rotting detritus are a blatant offence against nature, the affronted herbs and shrubs of the hillside left to accommodate the filth at their feet as best they can."


From June 2016, a posting by an American visitor


See also, photos from 2013


From August 2007:




Update: Municipality will put all refuse into containers temporarily, Enimerosi

Corfu Municipality: "We require the cooperation of all residents and businesses so that the island doesn't become one big rubbish dump".

Municipal Cleansing Services Announcement: No more refuse collection - don΄t put your rubbish in the bins! Enimerosi

"Corfu is Dying!" Enimerosi - Demonstrators shout at Justice Minister about the rubbish – ‘Corfu is dying. Give us a solution!’

A comment by Maria Claire seen on the Corfu Channel Facebook page:

Κοιτάξτε τα σκουπίδια που έχουν απλωθεί από τους ξενοδόχους και επιχειρηματίες σε δασικές εκτάσεις....Όλη η Κέρκυρα μία χωματερή

Call to Action from the Corfu Citizens Group: "It is with great anguish that we see the deadlock that the problem of waste management has come to. The island is suffocating in rubbish and no positive development can be seen on the horizon".


Reactions and altercations after court find Mayor and Deputy Mayor guilty, Enimerosi

"The prohibition of dumping at the facility means there is a danger of refuse gathering on the roads. Members of the Chamber of Commerce as well as residents who had been following the trial expressed their distress at the nightmare awaiting us this summer with the roads full of rubbish".


Απορρίμματα: Επιστολή των Κερκυραίων της Διασποράς στον Πρωθυπουργό - Letter to the Prime Minister from the Greek Diaspora of the USA, Enimerosi


Rubbish burning in Sidari all night, Enimerosi


An environmental allegory: 


Published 2008

“I didn’t just read it, I studied it closely. This book should be read by political candidates, and by all those who work in institutions and who hold any kind of power, or who hold the fate of the island in their hands.” Dimitris Konidaris, Enimerosi (translation).

Abridged English translation from Amazon


Paperback and Kindle edition, 2013

From The Exploitation of Panorea:

"The surrounding area was in a terrible state. The rubbish was piled up two metres high on both sides of the road...The smell of raw sewage pouring into the blue sea nauseated her, and rats were chasing passers-by along the broken pavements. Spring flowers were in bloom, but nature's efforts to conceal the dreadful state of the place went in vain. The entire landscape had been devastated, because of relentless greed".

(English version of "Panorea" first published in ISLAND Magazine, Issue 8, the Summer/Autumn 2008 issue, view pages 14-17).


"Πετούσαν τα σκουπίδια τους παντού και ξεχνούσαν μετά να τα μαζέψουν με αποτέλεσμα οι ποντικοί να τους ξεπεράσουν σε αριθμό. Τεράστιοι αρουραίοι κυκλοφορούσαν στην πόλη χαζεύοντας όσα γίνονταν γύρω-γύρω με μεγάλα μαύρα και άγρια μάτια. Έμπαιναν μέσα στους πράσινους κάδους, τριγυρνούσαν γύρω από κάτι νέους μπλε που είχαν εμφανιστεί τελευταία και αναρωτιόνταν γιατί οι συμπατριώτες τους προτιμούσαν δύο χρωματισμούς. Τα ίδια σκουπίδια δεν ήταν όλα; Τα μαύρα τρωκτικά βασίλευαν παντού. Σε τρύπες, σε κήπους, πάνω στα δέντρα...Από την κορυφή του βουνού η εκκλησία κατακόκκινη, σαν να είχε ιλαρά, έβλεπε προς τα κάτω τον δημόσιο δρόμο. Η Πανωραία είδε κάτι μεγάλα πολυάριθμα ποντίκια, κάτι μεγάλα τέρατα με φοβερά μάτια που με τη σειρά τους παρακολουθούσαν το τοπίο γύρω τους, καθώς ήταν στημένα πάνω στον πολυαγαπημένο τους πράσινο κάδο των σκουπιδιών".

2007



Corfu Aromas:


A photo from a 1960's guidebook 
(Kerkyra, Gnorizate tin Ellada, Athens)











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