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Athens: Residents of Skyros protest against gov’t plan to install wind turbines on their island

Residents of Skyros island in the northern Aegean protested outside the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry on October 25, 2013 against the opening of nine Aeolic parks on the island.

The Greek Government is planning to install 111 wind generators with a total capacity of 333 MW on the island of Skyros in the prefecture of Evvia in the north central Aegean, thereby creating one of the biggest wind power parks in the world.

Residents of Skyros protest against the construction of this wind farm on the island. Mayor of Skyros Mr. Miltiadis Hatzigiannakis is pressured by the Minister of Environment and the Prime Minister in order to sign for the construction of the project.

This is a project that has sparked strong reaction to the residents and the municipal authorities of the island, who report that the project size is huge and incompatible with the characteristics of the island.

They also report that this plan will have a particularly negative impact on the economy of the island, especially on stock farming, bee-keeping and tourism. Moreover, it will ruin the island’s landscape and lead to the extinction of the unique Skyrian horse, which is protected under Regulation (EEC) No. 2078/92(1) and lives in the area where the park is planned, also designated a special protection area for wild birds (SPA GR 115).

The Minister of environment Mr. Yannis Maniatis , called for a meeting with the representatives of the local community of Skyros. Residents of Skyros holding placards and shouting slogans protest out of the Ministry building throughout the meeting. We will not tolerate to happen to Skyros the same like Skouries they shout.

After the meeting the Mayor of Skyros while exiting the building he said that the people have won the first battle. He said he is pleased that the Minister promised that he will not proceed with the project, if the local community of Skyros do not agree. By hearing this the protesters burst into applause and some of them wept with joy.