I have already published an article about the airport on TVX, which was very popular. My position is that I am not opposed to the expansion of the airport runway and the creation of a new, more modern terminal.
My fears and concerns are the lack of infrastructure on the island to accommodate more visitors. Many Parian permanent residents feel that the island is saturated as there is no room for new public spaces. Issues like water supply and desalination (pending for years), waste collection, traffic, parking, health services and others are not resolved. They must be resolved before or at the same time as the airport expansion. The risk is significant.
Several well-off foreigners have started selling their homes because they are no longer satisfied with the services offered and the traffic. This problem must be taken very seriously because instead of increasing the tourist flow in Paros, it risks decreasing it, causing the loss of what we have. We all want development and progress, but not carelessness and disorganization. It is necessary to have a public debate to inform the inhabitants of Paros about all the positive points that this important project can offer and how all the projects necessary for the public interest can be approached and implemented as soon as possible. .
This, after all, is what democracy demands.
Dirk CORTVRIEND says
I read your post with interest.
I guess nobody opposes an improvement of the current airport facilities. That can be done without drawing unduly on environmental subsidies – reserving those for real environmental needs as the ones you cite.
But let us not be naive : any runway extension and the proposed new pharaonic terminal are unnecessary – except to allow bigger, more polluting planes, discharging cohorts of additional tourists, inevitably destroying the island’s lasts elements of attractivity – already under stress, as you rightly point out.
When you indicate that public consultation should be fostered, you are again absolutely right. A small but essential correction though : this is not what democracy demands, but what the Law requires. And for the avoidance of doubt : the Law describes also how the (project) matter will be ruled, verifying compatibility with environmental policy, weighing public interest against environmental and private damages, mitigating adverse effects to the maximum. None of that has been done in this case – worse : it has been pretended it was done, in a sham procedure.
When speaking about democracy … for the avoidance of misunderstanding : (representative) democracy is the way the people organise themselves to structure and control legislative, executive, and judicial powers in their society – with a complex system of checks and balances. described in the Law. This Law determines the relation of the State to its individual inhabitants, and vice-versa – protecting the both of them. Democracy is never the dictature of a majority. – sometimes referred to as “majoritarianism”- and should not be misused here : so is the choice to build an airport extension not a subject to be decided by a majority of island residents – if any such majority at all.
Last but not least, is it not painful, regrettable and … dramatic that all opinions promoting or even accepting to a certain extent the proposed extension project – including yours – simply ignore the reality of the climate change and the evident incompatibility of the project with a responsible environmental behaviour addressing the causes of global warming ? Are you aware of the EC directives and plans to cut aviation emissions ? That Greece is bound to those directives ? That the ongoing COP26 meeting in Glasgow is maybe the summit of the last chance to save your, my and our world – and will (most likely and hopefully) determine new restrictions on aviation pollution – and hence, air traffic ?
Don’t let us beat about the bush : the proposed airport extension is – in its totality – an outdated concept, wrong, irresponsible, if not … simply (I am weighing my words) criminal. And all its promoters are misleading the good people of Paros believing in good faith upon the promoters’ arguments, they need it. In the meantime well placed authority figures feed an ostracisation of those who dare oppose the project, despite their perfect legal right to do so. Shameful.
Wake up, and join in the action against it. And invite with me, and others, all responsible authority figures to withdraw and resize drastically the current project. So much more to do to save Paros, than to destroy it.
Let us be supportive to Greta, Vanessa, Harriet, Nicki, Annuna, … . Why does Greece not have its inspiring youngster leading the way ?