Demonstrators shout at Justice Minister about the rubbish – ‘Corfu is dying. Give us a solution!’
CORFU. The Minister of Justice, Stavros Kontonis, was confronted by a large group of protestors this morning.
The group of indignant residents had organized themselves on the internet and on Monday morning gathered at the spot where the parade was to take place, dressed in black and carrying placards that said ‘Corfu is Dying’.
The Justice Minister listened to their desperate protests about the waste management and general infrastructure problems on one of the most beautiful islands in Greece, which is also one of the major tourist destinations.
The Minister reiterated that removing the waste from the island was not a solution. He said that funds had been granted and steps were being taken to solve the waste management problem – but everyone needed to understand that there were no magical solutions.
The demonstrators, with a line of police in front of them, remained in place opposite the dignitaries’ platform where the Government representatives Nikos Voutsis, President (Speaker) of Parliament, and Stavros Kontonis, Minister of Justice stood.
The call to action from the ‘Frustrated Corfiots’
“For a long time now, we have been witnesses to the slow death of our island. Centuries-old buildings are collapsing. Our iconic fortresses have been left to their fate. The long grass is left uncut and there is no road maintenance. We have been suffocated by the rubbish, which is doing irreparable damage to the groundwater and sea. Wherever you look all you can see is abandonment.
Who is to blame for the destruction of the island? Who is responsible for the deterioration of our lives? What criminal negligence is turning a paradise into hell? The present incumbents blame their predecessors, who in turn deny their responsibilities and blame those in power now. The deadlock is growing and we feel as though we are helpless observers of the destruction of our lives and our children’s future lives.
We can’t take any more – we want our island back. We want our peace of mind and our life back.
This day of great historical significance – the anniversary of our union with Greece – finds us in the worst situation ever in recent years. Today’s celebration cannot hide the truth. What will happen tomorrow? When the guests have left and the celebratory lights go out, we will find ourselves once again in the swamp of problems for which we are not responsible, however much they try to convince us that we are.
We want to show our frustration and desperation with this protest – and the dead end that we find ourselves in. On Monday 21st May at 11:00 we are going to stand opposite the dignitaries’ platform in silent protest. Without flags, without political affiliations and with no other purpose but to make clear our frustration and desperation. We are wearing black as a sign of mourning and holding placards saying ‘CORFU IS DYING’. We are not going to obstruct the parade or interfere with other members of the public who don’t wish to protest. We are proud of our children and will protest in silence.
Without shouting and violence, the silence will be loud with our anger at the crime that is being committed in front of our eyes.”