Greece’s Garbage Crisis: A Stinky Metaphor for an Economy in the Dumps

The EU, Greece and a lot of garbage. But the Greek economy is not the only one in the dumps: the problem is others are yet to follow.


It is like a dark inversion of the tourist images of Greece. Seagulls circle not over the clear blue waters of the Aegean, but a bleak, cratered landscape, swooping down to compete with human scavengers and mangy dogs for spoils in a sea of waste. The landfill in the municipality of Fyli receives the lion’s share of the 6,000 tons of garbage produced every day in Attica, the region that is home to the Greek capital Athens and 35% of the country’s entire population.

Greece’s surfeit of garbage has become one of the most visible — and pungent — symptoms of its debt crisis. A report commissioned by the European Commission last year ranked the country as the European Union’s least efficient in its implementation of European waste-management directives. It still buries 80% of its waste, while the E.U. average is 38% and some member states have deployed recycling and recovery to…

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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4 Responses to Greece’s Garbage Crisis: A Stinky Metaphor for an Economy in the Dumps

  1. Maggie Thom says:

    It makes me so sad when I hear of countries allowing garbage to overrun them. I wish people would realize the damage they are doing to nature and ultimately to themselves.

    • Countries with fragile economies have always had a problem related to priorities definition; waste management will not rank very high: cities like Naples in Italy have it, big cities in Romania are currently facing it…

  2. Iyobosa says:

    Great read. What an important message too.
    I’ve touched on similar issues here, have a read

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