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tv   Extracting Coal in Greece  Deutsche Welle  May 10, 2020 7:30am-8:00am CEST

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the global corona crisis you can find more information online at d.w. dot com and on t.w. social media channels. the car mining region in northern crease many people here used to think of brown coal as a divine gift. the mines created jobs and coal fired power plants brought of the tricity to all the grease but today the coal mines are controversial. these are not rain clouds it's coal dust. and
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other armor and other it's really scary the wind blows coal ash and dust into the village and even in a broad daylight it gets dark you know what it's muggy go get this work is vital for us we need to pay checks to feed our families one of the most of the men who work here have wives and kids that we do not use other big. up us dollars coggan eighty's is 33 years old. right now he's on his way to work he said demolition expert at a mine that's owned by the government run energy production company. papa stall is his father jani also works at the mine his father worked here to.
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the. opposite all this and his colleagues are setting up a controlled explosion. he earns $1200.00 euros a month. that's not much but he's grateful he has a job. 70 percent of the young people in this region are unemployed. 4 villages were demolished to make room for this mine alone. i made that up but my mother was from the village of key toss. it used to be right here where we are now. about the residents had to move to make room for the mine my mother and grandfather lived in advantage. of the history of the better. johnny's has worked for the mining company for 30 years. he used to make good money
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so he'll qualify for a generous pension. but 10 years ago he had to move out of his home village. to lose some of the love of it all you have only lived on this land for 55 years it was hard for me to leave i'm 55 years old so it was easier for me than it was for older people who know a lot like my wife's parents are in their eighty's a vision loop according had to leave their land and now they're stuck in a high rise apartment building. isn't talking about with them i. father used to grow crops on this land and now we're destroying it a lot of talk about. this is they are used to me trios call fire power station located near the mine. papa stories his wife to spina works here. she earns just
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$620.00 euros a month and her contract is temporary she hopes that the power company will offer her a permanent position. with the company has done a lot of good for people and still does. the entire region depends on the company for jobs that includes businesses that have nothing to do with mining or energy production like cafes. the 5th there could be but the every business and all the local residents depend on the power company for income a good deal. getting. thousands of people in this region have worked for generations for the power company in one capacity or another. there are 5 coal fired power plants here spread out over an area that covers about 80 kilometers.
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in 2009 lake night supplied half of all of greece's electricity. but now that's fallen to less than 30 percent. most of the power plants are old and inefficient and they create too much c o 2 the e.u. continues to impose increasingly severe penalties for excessive emissions that makes coal production unprofitable. the e.u. is also demanding that parts of the power company be privatized because of greece's economic crisis. this comes at a time when other countries are winding down coal production there will almost certainly be job cuts. to this if the coal industry shuts down here a lot of people be unemployed and of them that's scary. but i shudder to think what could happen to them. a little bit with i wish my other son could find
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a job here the thought of big of a little of the moon my daughter had to move overseas she went to dubai because she couldn't find work and greases of the afford to go i got a little of him she simply wasn't able to find a job here to live in the field of the. doom of the field. she studied hard and speak several languages. we friend her diploma is a. totally says that in the past the mining company would have provided work for everyone including his brother but now he's worried about what will happen next. door mellowed a bit when i think about my children's future. i think it would be better if they shut down most coal production. because of the pollution. i like is as tricky of them but i think that they want to keep it
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instead some of it if you know. i'm terrified about what would happen if we didn't have coal anymore. but the mines continue to expand production and dangerously close to the surrounding villages including acri name lots of people there have been hard hit by the mining companies business practices. that c.d.s. used to work as a subcontractor for the mining company providing transport trucks. he was forced to sell his family's orchards to the company in return 440000 euros. but after 10 years his contract was cancelled and he took up farming.
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but his land is now fenced in and dried up and it belongs to the mining company. he had to lease land in order to grow fodder for his cattle. we've had to do you know what a few of my family's been here for 3 generations we were here before the power company wanted to see what. i mean it was we supposed to do now here. people have been arguing about what are your demands i don't want to leave my village but i want clean fresh air i lost my job i want those coal fired power plants shut down. skeff bowman i'm a doctor sometimes i think about just giving up a lot again but that's hard to do it might be i'm $54.00 and i have 3 children and the love of. the situation acri me has been on hold for 8 years but
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nikos still has to find ways to feed his family. he has 20 cows but needs 80 to 100. and there are serious ground clinician problems. or about half the up of a few don i mean. the company did not dispose of the coal ash properly they just left it lying around. that one of your some of my neighbors cows got into it and they went blind on. your game and i think. my neighbor sued the company for damages and was awarded compensation. the coal ash also contaminated the groundwater with chromium. the villagers took the power company to court over the situation. people who still have jobs there don't talk about any of this because they don't want to get into trouble. but the village is divided everyone feels let down and they can't see
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a way out. now we're on our way to the village of modern opihi about 20 kilometers away from our county there's a coal mine near here to. the village just like a ghost town the result of a botched expo pre-action and resettlement program. most of the residents moved out in 2012. today just a few dogs remain. taso same on a wheel that used to be the mayor here he stops by occasionally to feed the dogs and to remember the village as a. used to be. if you go again if 2 families still live here. there are 2 brothers who are shepherds. they still have their land and they want to stay with their animals or by it snows a lot during the winter here misses like
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a border and if the village is cut off from the outside world they want to look after their flock. they'll go again in the us and there's an older couple they had 7 children and kind of you born one of the kids was ill for a long time and then died. they just don't want to leave the village. with us in the senate and their house is the only one that still has electricity who. think there's no running water anywhere. but to shepherds get that electricity from a generator. and they get their water from the animals drinking troughs what this is what is going to give us the levee. they carry the water home in buckets for. them because. the older couple didn't want to talk to us neither did the shepherds. of the back of the who this used to be the center of the village.
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because i knew who my parents' house was over them. it had a cafe to. have more with what i got a little mini mart there was a mini market on the ground floor of my house on the opposite side with the with me market. they thought him a big. part of that i had some income from the cafe and the market. when people started leaving the village. both businesses shut down my view with with a we can't compensation for the property. but not for the income that we lost. and the businesses closed or the supporters from the truth in my book. the power company went to court appeal the compensation ruling and won the case.
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the new ruling said that after 70 years people would have to pay back up to 40 percent of the amount that they'd been awarded. but in the meantime some people had bought apartments in nearby towns they've been waiting since 2012 to be resettled the people of modern opihi filed a lawsuit and the case is still tied up in the courts. my father in law's house was over that the house was torn down in the hope of living with no one had used any electricity there since 2015 but we still got power bills and. well up until last month we were getting bills for electricity that we hadn't used. but on top of that the authorities still charges for local taxes and utilities like water sewage treatment and garbage disposal of a part of anybody who can even though those services are no longer provided people if you don't pay are you'll get into trouble vent the horses they have problem of
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the moment bottle bottle or chaos from start to finish there's just no end to it i think it can. really unless the road to the village used to run through here. by then we noticed that a cracker developed and it was getting bigger gulf war i thought my god alone it was about 3 and a half kilometers long if you remember. the villagers demanded to be resettled before work on the new mines started but taso says that the company refused to pay for any relocation expenses. in 2010 there was a landslide here and that was the beginning of the end for the village of mob ropey ye. hear the voice i mean this is a little left of the courtyard in front of the churches and the cologne which was built on the edge of the village to be socketed was. probably a horrific and there were over 50 have tens of forest land there. and then put up
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with a mug. taso says coal production is still in full swing here. greece depends on coal for much of its electricity a new $660.00 megawatt power plant is being built near the village at a cost of $1400000000.00 euros the project uses german technology and german financing a 740000000 euro loan from the state owned development bank k f w all this for coal fired power production that's being phased out in germany. the landslide in moscow p.d. took place in 2010 in the village of a not guilty about 30 kilometers away there was a landslide in the summer of 2017 also near a coal mine. or east coast cut a p.d.s. house was directly about the big crack. this is our east coast and his son petrus.
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they continually check on the condition of their home. the ground is still sinking it's too dangerous to go inside. the roof. be they beast of a people it is more than a he didn't it it got the power company doesn't want to pay compensation because they say there's no lignite here minutes up a look at us all a bit up what do you know about that is that it but the mine is just 300 metres away so they should have known that something like this might happen it's not a myth it's not my job to tell them about any of this recall it was copied to me it would be taken with mr good by you or he they should have warned us earlier to leave it was a bit of an affront to get on with what but i've been a figure with us we'd still be the thought even what they kind of everyone saw that the cracks were getting bigger and bigger. we complained about it for a month. but the day before the landslide some company representatives came out and said that there was no danger of going to settle this case till they started moving
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their equipment away from the mine can use in a month but landslide cause damage there to move on is the key they both got us thinking up with a deeper level of negatives and afterward they said today had expected a landslide but nothing like this out of those from a small. the company insists that the landslide was a natural disaster and was not caused by mining operations in any case the company is short of cash so the only hope for the villagers as that they'll get some financial aid from the government. for niger but up where you're born i this really hurts we put a lifetime of work into this house and to lose it just like that with me then it's tough what i'm a compass they need to harness support my put up or you really really up with a mystery i worked my entire life to buy this house because it's the only asset i
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have with this. situation is just awful. for people but the good of the speech all the people around here have moved away and then they've gone to the town of tolo my you do you have to if you would about up on the time being the company's paying the rent but that's all and i have just finished and. nobody cared about whether they had enough money to survive there were actual when i was there you know it's the gift of those what happens to the older people or large families legal again how they manage their money that they have nothing the gun. i reached says that the power company believes it's making a concession with the temporary rent payments but many people here have lost their source of income. petros ran a blueberry farm on his parents' property but he had to shut it down after the ground there sank 2 meters they held some public protests which provoked a swift response from the power company is
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a couple of us are going to be think of a certain good gets up when we held demonstrations for fair compensation and on one occasion we closed down the company's conveyor belts for a while either you know ms and also then the company filed a complaint against us claiming that we were trying to damage their business that's not going to mean it's 10 of us were arrested but then sentenced to 10 months in jail. that was later reduced to probation of up with that coming just feel like maybe at the end of slowly. i restate this was sentenced to 3 years probation. finally the greek government said it would pay $42000000.00 euros from a state investment program to those whose land was expropriated it's not clear when the money will be paid the people up on our t.v. have long since lost their trust in the authorities. this is the home of demolition expert op was stolen. he still has
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a job and he and his family live in a newly constructed village the land was a gift from his grandfather who in turn got it from the power company when business was better to buy a new toy your people in the old village there were lots of people they raised crops or had livestock way you know they're going to get a whole year to qualify for resettlement here in the new village they had to sell their land to the company and that's expropriation to me that it's tough to start all over when you have no land the few of us who have jobs with the power company like me moved here if some others left the country and went to germany all the us feel that it's not maybe. the new village was finished 10 years after the residents land was taken away 2000 people lived in the old village of cletus but only 400 of them still live here the old community no longer exists e.u.
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funds were used for new infrastructure projects including a primary and secondary school but up a stone he says children have to attend classes in a neighboring village the school was shut down because there aren't enough children here. the region's entire economy revolves around the power company. so are the coal fired power plants a blessing or a curse. the company now owns most of the land around here people like me cause for yet c.d.'s who have to make their living from farming but no longer have fields have to buy straw or at least the land from others to grow it. meanwhile the mine is moving
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closer to his village the mode here is despondent. so much that even because the government made the senate the power company measure to area on the plane and decided to confiscate it a total of $1250.00 hectors. up to 90 percent of the villagers make their living on that land that maintained other gobbled up some raise livestock like sheep most of them grow crops like potatoes and corn yada yada. so the company will take away their land what's going to happen to those people will always be like you. got your feet on the no grandmother some work for the power company does that mean that of the 1200 people in the village 200 have jobs and the rest don't matter. we just sit around here and wait and the company keeps playing games with us. like the nothing . the local residents have no idea what they're supposed to do now it's not yet
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clear when they might be resettled and they have to deal with pollution from the mine. nico says that no one wants to invest in a village that's been condemned to death. when i remember to go i mean we're not only surrounded by the mine the water is polluted and the pipes are old and full of his best. but nobody does anything. no one cares and we have to drink that water you know much of what went on. fortunately for op a stall is in his family they can safely drink the water from the tap. their home is 25 kilometers from the mine where the parents work but the spinners family lives right behind the power plant. i was born and raised in that village. but we decided to move here for our children sake. the family get away from the
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pollution and. their mothers and me but would have preferred to stay in the village because that's where our parents live they'd be there for us and they could help with the kids but the air is clean here away from the mine i'm a could opt out here in the co-op well it's a double edged sword. we'd like to have jobs and a clean environment but around here we can't. say god we have our jobs with the power company and we are also curtiss. everyone just tries to do their best with what they've got to have taught. a couple of the parents who used to dream that their children would study hard get a degree and find a job similar to the bottom of a bad today that's not realistic and. then if we just try to make sure that our
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children get a good education. we have no idea what their future will be like. should they learn foreign languages and move overseas or we do not. know who lives but i can tell them to stay here and work for the power company by hialeah and farming is hard work. so their future is uncertain if they you know the actual. because for yet c.b.s. is even more concerned about his family's future he doesn't tap a steady income and the local environment is polluted he's especially worried for his 3 children. or youngest document of anybody you know i love them dearly lima the there's no future for them here like you know what god is all about they're 1614 and 12 years old the got that's or you will sure they go to school but there are no opportunities for them around here i love let me borrow up to get you out of the. you know you got to go german is good but i think chinese would be better but
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you know they got out of the universe and. i think i'd prefer a russian or spanish. but
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