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Dear citizens of Astakos

category greece / turkey / cyprus | environment | news report author Thursday April 28, 2005 12:00author by dmitri - OADE- Greeceauthor email outetheos at yahoo dot com dot au Report this post to the editors

This is a leaflet distributed by OADE members through towns and villages of Aitoloakarnania

This leaflet was one of the first by OADE about local important issues and was well received by the locals there.

Dear citizens of Astakos

Dear citizens of Astakos (1) and regional municipalities, Aitoloakarnanes (2) The Federation of Anarchists of Western Greece (O.A.D.E.), has been sensitised for the environment as well as the local economic progress, kept an eye and participated in the struggle of residents of Astakos and adjacent municipalities against the companies of piscicultures.

We believe that all of us are compelled to take a stance for one so much complex, not only environmental but, mainly, political and social problem.

We studied the letter of the pisciculturists in a local newspaper and the answer of the mayor of Astakos, did an autopsy in the marine spaces where the aquacultures exist, participated in the protest of the locals in 3 August 2003 and finally received the opinion of specialised scientists who work at the piscicultures.

The basic conclusion that results is the corruptness and the interwining, the accumulation of capital in the few acquaintances and the local closed friends of the local power (in this respect – PASOK) (3) and the exploitation at the expense of wide social layers under the pretext of the “growth and recovery of new economic exits”.

The gentlemen of the companies occupied all the marine coastal space from Astakos up to Mytikas (4), in the name of their personal profit, creating a sea which resembles as a “field with mines” (the same happens in Amvrakikos and Corinthian Gulf, with different resultants there). We are talking about occupation because, as was proved not only by the speech of mayor but also by others, we have been sensitised for the environment, and we are against the local factors from whose someone took authorisation from the vise-prefect (responsible for the environment), other from the local governor and other from the general secretaries of the Ministries of Agriculture, Environment- Planning and Public Works etc etc. Alaloum (5) and loot…

It is ESSENTIAL, dear citizens, to be informed how the authorisation of installation of a pisciculture is obtained, that is to say by which authority, who represents each authority and who signs on its behalf. The governmental power is practised by concrete institutions and these are expressed by certain persons. Consequently, all the responsibilities are concrete, institutional and personal. The interwining does not come from the sky, is contracted between persons with particular relations, the documents are signed with concise processes and the rake off comes and go from office to office.

Remember who the householders of piscicultures are, in whish – at overwhelming majority of – political party they belong, whose governmental officials they have relations with (and supposedly friendly), if they have exhausted the subsidies by other agricultural and enterprising activities, and then the “tangle is untied”.

Wonder, therefore, if they have as their basic concerns your employment, the protection of environment and the local development, as they claim.

They are telling fairy tales and lies to you, because they aim at your exploitation, because they want to draw the subsidies (national and european) because of your resistance and apathy.

They are indeferent if there is a production of good and quality fish or not. They simply want to gain from them. They have collected already billions from the subsidies.

They employ 70–100 individuals (and not 280 as they claim) using them as a moral shield against the others and against any criticism. With the alibi of employment and using them along with their families, they help electorally those who helped them in the obtaining of authorisations of installation of their enterprising activities. This is the chain of interwining.

The electoral assisted (parliament members), however, because the votes of the employed and also the businessmen (with their influence) are not enough for them they are posed simultaneously as “protesters”.

During the protest of 3 August 2003, we all asked ourselves “who finally is accountable”. And as we show there “no one”. There the “theatre of absurd” was on stage, and this because some representatives of Prefecture, Region and two governmental parliament members (Makrypides ans Smyrlis) (6) appearred as supporters and spoke in deed about the “fair fight of the citizens”.

It must be noticed that the Mpokas brothers (7) have particular relations with the two local governmental parliament members, and mainly with Smyrlis. It is evident that these worthy “supporters” adopted another stance in their party, the Prefecture and the Region (“Silence of Lambs”), and a different one in front of their fellow-citizens, and legislating and protesting, as says the popular proverb, “neither in the sack nor in the sackful”.

If this is not perversion, it is at least “mischief”.

The mayor, in the rally of 3 August 2003, had to practise a caustic criticism, reported particular surnames, and did not thank them in the end of the protest.

In particular:

a) All the coasts in the before mentioned region are committed by the companies, creating aesthetic problem.

b) The fish of the piscicultures are nourished with whatever someone can imagine, as well as animal products (eg. chickens), meat flour, chemical processed formulas etc, to be developed fastly, so that the result is that the public health to be in danger in the altar of profit.

c) There are fish transformations created and when their cages are broken these monsters are repeated in the open sea. There are descriptions by fishermen who tracked down transformed species of fish realising continuously the lack of traditional species.There are also overgrown fish (varieties of fish that their physiologic weight does not exceed the 500 gr. and there reaches in the 1,5 with 2 kilos).

d) The bottom of the sea is destroyed, and that’s why the law forecasts the relocation of these businesses per regular time, when an environment pressure exists. Question: When the authorities measured for environment pressure and how many relocations happened?

e) The legislation forecasts that the waste must be removed in solid form packed in plastic bags with a sanitary way… meaning of course the sanitary burial. Question: Who checks all of these and where is the space of sanitary burial? Here the quality of food of fish is proved indirectly.

f) The legislation forecasts an archaeological research under the installation marine spaces before the obtaining of authorisation of installation of a pisciculture. Question: Whish authority contacted it, when and from who it was drawn up?

g) The local workers there are not more than 100, of whom a few or even no one is secured, and all the rest are Pakistani migrants who live in sordid conditions (without observation of schedule etc.) with low wages. Locals and Pakistani do not have the right of syndicalism. So, here we have a type of fascism temporally determined in the Medieval Times, where the workers were slaves in the feuds, having right of food but not right of expression or speech.

h) Dear friends, the significance of the public land (as public building etc etc.) is a significance which we have to appropriate in order to consider the environment our own affair. Everything is public (that is, belongs to the people) and it is not state owned. The significance of the state owned is a constitutional figment, so that we consider nothing ours and then every authority can appropriate everything and judge via means of every of its employees (in governmental, regional, prefectoral, or municipal level) when something is granted or sold or not. If the above becomes perceptible, our mobilisations will be frequent, permanent and dynamic.

i) It is imposed for the local fishermen to be self-organised, to be informed by themselves for the entries given for the protection of environment as well as the growth of aquacultures, because they are the only ones who will maintain the balance between environment and growth. Self-organisation, self-management and the participative spirit in co-operative movements are today already imposed against the arbitrariness assisted by the government and the closed friends of the power. The essential conditions for the above are the fishermen to be informed, the energy, the sense of right and the adversity with those “controlling”.

j) The authority (legislative, executive and at extension juridicial) cannot function rightly. It functions with the base of its permanent recapture and maintainance. That’s why the various politicians, parliament melbers, ministers etc. supposedly are on the people’s side and “legislate for them”. Remember the political programs of two authoritarian parties PASOK, Nea Dimokratia (N.D.), (8) after the change of the regime. PASOK is today considered as the better administrative party, while the N.D. put on the mask of popular, social anf workers friendly party. It is obvious from their mutation that they draw us in their projects, and that the occupation of the power is enough for them. Notice here also the role official parliamentary Left which, if someone excludes its passive participation in every anti-NATO, anti-american, or workers (mainly industrial workers) mobilisation, it has been withdrawn by itself in the parliament, being unable to give solutions or proposals in complex sectors of our life, our complex social and occupational activity.

k) To come back in the local problem, the mayor of Astakos will find us in the future against in another form of enterprising activity which he wants (hotels etc.) if these degrade or even destroy the environment (land and sea with the waste), if in this economic activity do not participate the locals – unemployed and small scale earners – not only as workers but also as participants in the administration of these enterprises. This will be achieved if the state and the local government receive less money than the concession of the land in the by any chance investments and place the remain as an investment in local working force but in the form that we proposed above. Otherwise, the “extremely revolutionary” text of the mayor in the local newspaper does not have meaning. Is is contradictory for the pisciculturist to leave and the hotel keepers to come, while it is affirmative to protect the environment and develop economically the local area with the participative process of the citizens.

l) In the same spirit, why in the pits for the excavation of various materials the mayor and the citizens they do not establish a stable and sure enterprise in order to improve the income of the locals?

m) The works in the Platygiali (9), why they never finish? Why it should always exist a turnover and the workers are forced, indirectly and immediately, help in the electoral appointment of various ones? That is to say this is the only dependence that exists between workers and government?

Residents of the wider region, self-organise, collectivise and go into partnership. This is the force against the power of government and any authority. Do not participate in your seduction that befalls in the shameful electoral process.

Postscript: After the writing of this text, an advertising campaign of the pisciculturists began in a local newspaper and in the 6th issue of Chamber of Aitoloakarnania on the suppossed subject “the piscicultures and what they offer” in the local economy. Under the title “Aquacultures: Hell or Paradise” (in page 21) the pisciculturists guided by their stress to convince us that all are positive, admit the money they take from the subsidies, their turnover etc etc. But, to tell the truth, this money by how many individuals are accumulated, in 5,10 or 20? That is to say, if the IXTHYKA, NIREAS (10) and the other companies have gross income 26 billions, are this your own income, the income of ten individuals? And they say to us that they offer in the local place. Here they admit their exploitation at your expense. However, because the interwining is up to date, the Mpokas brothers are partners in companies of piscicultures and at the same time in the Administrative Council of Chamber of Aitoloakarnania. They are also members of the editorial committee of this publication and in the Protection Committee of of Trade-union Executives. So, you can evaluate “if the article of this magazine is objective” and judge after another reading of the point “f” of our proclamation how much they are interested for the syndicalism. Finally, in the local newspaper “Week” of 21 October 2003, why the company IXTHYKA reports that it is going for closure because of deficits, because she is autonomous economically in the expenses? Did the IXTHYKA receive subsidies from the European Union programs as the magazine reports? So, without the subsidies are the piscicultures showing a deficit? Who says the truth, the magazine of Mpokas brothers or the article of IXTHYKA in the “Week”

Conclusion: No one says the truth. The magazine wants no resistance for the piscicultures and strengthen the IXTHYKA with foreign money (european entries etc.).

November 2003

Federation of Anarchists of Western Greece (O.A.D.E.)

Notes 1. Astakos. Town in Western Greece. 2. Aitoloakarnanes. The people who resides in Aitoloakarnania, a region in Western Greece. 3. PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement). Political party founded in 1974 and led by Andreas Papandreou until his death in 1994. PASOK was in the government during 1981-1989 and 1993-2004 (led by Kostas Simitis). 4. Mytikas. Place in Western Greece. 5. Alaloum. It is a word of the Greek slang language meaning a really messy situation etc. 6. Makrypides and Smyrlis. Local (from Aitoloakarnania) parliament members. They belong to PASOK. 7. Mpokas brothers. Local pisciculture businessmen. 8. Nea Dimikratia (New Democracy – N.D.). Right wing political party founded in 1974 and led by Konstantinos Karamanlis and been in the governmental power during 1974-1981, 1989-1993 (led by Konstantinos Mitsotakis) and again since March 2004, led by Kostas Karamanlis (nephew of Konstantinos). 9. Platygiali. Place in Western Greece. 10. IXTHYKA, NIREAS. Local pisciculture companies.

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