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26 May, 2024
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Urgent review of Geri's industrial zone

Residents express anger in protest

Pavlos Neophytos

Eleven days later, the fire at the paper and plastic recycling factory in the Industrial Zone of Geriou remains unabated due to the materials involved. The residents of the area are also filled with anger and will gather for a protest event on Wednesday, July 26th. According to reports, they met with representatives from the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Environment, along with the mayors of Idaliou and Geriou. During the meeting, which was called by Minister Petros Xenophontos, representatives from relevant government departments and the commercial-industrial sector assessed the situation and decided on some measures, such as increased inspections and stricter penalties. They later visited the fire site for an on-site assessment.

Despite the meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, the Municipality of Idaliou and the residents of the Agioi Konstantinos and Eleni area are organizing a protest event in the Industrial Zone of Geri at 7:00 PM on Wednesday. They have three demands:

1. Immediate discussions on declassifying the congested industrial zone in the broader Idaliou area to a light industrial zone. This means that shortly, no heavy industrial units will be allowed to be installed in the area.

2. Implementation of necessary legislative measures to prevent recurring incidents of fires at recycling facilities. For repeated incidents of fires at these establishments, strict penalties should be imposed to act as a deterrent.

3. More frequent and thorough inspections by relevant government authorities at these facilities.

According to Kyriakos Kyriakou, the President of the Quality of Life Improvement Movement in Idaliou, the incident of the recycling factory fire has significantly affected the psychology of the residents, and the overall atmosphere is unpleasant. Antonis Kyriakou, a member of the movement, expressed concerns about the risks faced by the residents. He mentioned the possibilities of loss of lives, destruction of homes, and emissions of toxic gases during the fire. The proximity of other facilities with fuel tanks and flammable materials is considered the biggest danger by the residents.

Kyriakou urged that decisions should be taken to prioritize either the health of the people living in the area or development, profit, and industries. He emphasized that citizens should not bear the burden of the government's urban planning mistakes and called for bold decisions to be made. He pointed out that he has been residing in the area for nine years and that citizens should not pay for the mistakes made in urban planning by the state.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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