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Asopos is a river that rises in Viotia and discharges into the South Euboea Gulf in Greece, about 60 km north of Athens.Forty years ago, in 1969, through a Presidential Decree, issued by the Military Government (Junta) that ruled Greece at the time, Asopos was proclaimed a Processed Industrial Waste receiver. The river the Ancient Greeks worshiped as a god (Asopos was Poseidon’s son) was unfortunate enough to run through areas that turn out almost 20% of Greece’s total industrial production.
Today, Asopos’ waters receive waste from hundreds of industries, situated at a nearby Industrial area. Nevertheless, only a slight amount of water reaches its estuary. The texture of the soil absorbs the largest part of the water, including all the industrial waste, and spreads it to the whole underground water. This results to a possibly irreversible pollution of a huge area with various waste, amongst which heavy metals, including the renowned due to recent publicity, Hexavalent Chromium. This is an element that causes cancer and/or mutations.
The water from the springs, the fountains and the drillings in this whole area is no longer suitable for any human use, neither drinking nor cooking, bathing and washing clothes, not even for watering plants!
Hundreds of thousands of residents inhabit the area, especially during the summer. All these people have been consuming water for years, without ever having been officially informed of the hazards, until early this summer (2007).
Recently, after 3 adjournments and a delay of 6 years, a trial took place. 10 out of 18 defendants were acquitted due to misrecorded data! For those convicted, the highest punishment was the ridiculous amount of EURO 5000 as a fine!
Various reportings have revealed that some industries open up drillings and convey inside all their waste- directly into the underground water!
We request that the Greek Government, the Greek Parliament, the European Community Authorities and every other qualified service take all necessary measures and actions in order to insure the restoration of Asopos river, as well as the indemnification of all the problems (health related, economical, environmental) the residents are facing due to this situation.