Written by
Nektarios Kalogirou

The present value of the Rhodes hotels exceeds four billion euros. All the hotels in the South Aegean have a value of more than 10 billion, and if they are added to the hotels of Crete and the Ionian islands, then the value is multiplied and amounts to more than 30 billion euros.
All of this capital generates state taxes of 16 billion euros a year, employs 26% of the Greek workforce and accounts for 31% of GDP. All this can be done in just one day. There is just one accident in the dozens of oil and other hydrocarbons boreholes approved to make in our seas. The dimension of ecological disaster is not taken into account in the following report.
It is indeed worthy of the silence of the Greek hoteliers for the enormous risk posed by the series of decisions to exploit hydrocarbons on marine plots starting from eastern Crete and reaching as far west as Peloponnese and Peloponnese. These are decisions that began at the beginning of the economic crisis, under the government of Antonis Samaras, were ratified by the government of Alexis Tsipras and are now being implemented without public consultation and without the consent of the societies directly affected.

Forget the “Sun-Sea” model “
They will first start with gas and when they run out, the pumps will be driven deeper to pull in the oil that is usually below the gas layer,” said Christos Anagnostou. , Research Director of the Hellenic Center for Marine Research (ELKETHE). He pointed out that “in the event of an accident, even during test mining, there will be an impact on the entire coastal system. The impacts will affect all coastal flora, fauna and anthropogenic activities ”.
Mr Anagnostos was described during an anti-mining event in Crete last Friday. At the same wavelength are the statements made yesterday to ‘democratic’ by Mr Theodoris Tsimpidis, founder and head of the Maritime Institute ‘Archipelago’. As he pointed out, “once test mines start, leaks will be inevitable and destruction will be enormous and not just for ecosystems. Beyond that, we open the door to the possibility of an accident like the one in the Gulf of Mexico where Americans with the most modern means have been fighting for a month, unable to stop the leak. In the case of Greece we have no equipment or know-how, nor specialized personnel who could act repressively. If that happens in our seas, we will be helplessly watching the disaster and cutting our veins. “
It is noted that the Gulf of Mexico is about as wide as the Mediterranean, except that the latter is a completely closed sea and in the event of an accident, the oil will remain in it, trapped forever. Indeed, a study by the Archipelago Institute shows that “in the NE Atlantic region, where mining is well monitored, 4,828 hydrocarbon leakages were recorded in 2007-2016.” The same study presents the tragic consequences for the health and economy of the Basilicata region of Italy, where “after almost 30 years of mining, today it is facing a dramatic environmental disaster, rising rates of cancer, devastating agriculture,

Hoteliers, take the situation into your own hands
“The Greek legislation on hydrocarbon mining issues is both foggy and foggy.” This finding was made by the large environmental organizations whose legal staff are studying this important issue in depth. The finding had led WWF Hellas last year to mobilize 100 scientists from around the world who signed a resolution to the Tsipras Government for the cancellation of hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation agreements in the Aegean, Cretan and Ionian seas.
However, even a government that boasted of its environmental sensitivities has actually wrapped itself up in the face of big, oil interests.
It seems that today, only hoteliers and tourism businessmen in general may be able to push for something to change. The tens of billions of euros created by the tourism industry and generating 31% of GDP per year can only have a weighty reason. If Tourism cannot stand in the way of the prepared ecological burden, then the future of this country will be in doubt, either because of the catastrophe or because of the wars that constitute the historical aftermath of each oilfield area. It is recalled that from the exploitation of the deposits, the country will receive only a small percentage of the resulting rights, while the lion’s share will be acquired by offshore and Canadian companies. Indeed, this benefit will not be immediate, but will come about in the 25 years. In the meantime, Greece will have permanently lost its marine biodiversity, its quality fisheries and agriculture, as well as 70% of its tourism product. This 70% is located in the Southern Aegean, Crete, the coastal Peloponnese and the Ionian Sea.

“Save Greek Seas” is the name of a web site created by people who are opposed to mining. There, it seems, in general, that local people are rebelling and mobilizing. Crete, Epirus, Peloponnese, Ionian Islands, all, small and large, rise as they can. Now is the time for their voice to be properly amplified.