An important week for Corfu waste management

CORFU. Hopefully questions will be answered and clarification provided regarding the removal of waste from the island.

January / 2020

The meetings regarding the Corfu waste problem begin on Wednesday in Athens. The General Secretary for Solid Waste Management Manolis Grafakos, who is meeting with the three Corfu MPs, has asked that there be 'no publicity' but recent developments have not allowed this. MP Stefanos Gikas' recent 'goodwill' meeting with the Mayors, from which the other MPs were excluded, provoked a reaction and the confidentiality that was requested went out of the window!

His initiative might have been acceptable if he had invited the Mayors to his office, but not, as was the case, to hold the meeting at the Regional Administration Office with the Governor present - which politicized the matter. However, it seems that Mr. Gikas' initiative was successful, but proof will come from the composition of the FODSA (Solid Waste Management Organisation) delegation to Kozani and - even more so - from how the first FODSA meeting since the previous two 'eventful' meetings goes.

On Wednesday morning at 09:00 the three Corfu MPs will meet with Mr. Grafakos at his office. The General Secretary has promised to provide answers and remove any doubts as well as to clarify how the transportation of waste to Kozani will proceed. The construction of the Integrated Waste Management Unit and Temploni landfill will also be part of the discussion. What remains to be clarified is what will happen with the tens of thousands of tons of waste bales, which the Ministry had promised would be included in the transportation to the Western Macedonia landfill. This promise has been made but hasn't been announced officially.

Following this comes the question of the total cost of the operation and, most importantly, upon whom this burden will fall and to what extent - the answer to which is absolutely necessary in order to allay the concerns of the Mayors. This will come neither from photo-ops nor from assurances from the Regional Authority and Parliamentary representatives even if they are from the Government party.

According to reliable sources, at least two of the Mayors want to request extraordinary funding - this is considered necessary for new Municipal infrastructure and extra waste management expenses.

The best-case scenario is that all the above will be cleared up in the coming week. We have the first meeting on Wednesday, followed by the visit to Kozani and there is then another meeting next Tuesday or Wednesday at the Ministry for the Environment attended by all those who were present at the previous meeting.