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Containerharbour In Timbaki, Part 1


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#261 Assim

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

Whilst I understand what you are saying about Athens. I was just trying to highlight the fact that the picture you painted was for effect and not relevant to the ability of the university to complete a study. In discrediting the authors before the study is produced, you are able to say I told you so, if the study goes the way you believe or wow so I was wrong if they say its not viable. Making your case stronger with no morale losses. However if you don't discredit the authors and the study says yes this should go ahead, it is harder to discredit them after the event. I just saw this as a clever political move on your part. I re-emphasize the state of Athens today has nothing to do with the ability of a group of individuals to produce a report, just because they live there.

I concede, in answering your critisms of Athens, I am also guilty of painting a picture that needs rose tinted glasses to view it. The truth lies somewhere inbetween the two pictures. There are trees for example and not as you stated no trees, but the green areas and trees are not enough. When compared with other european capitals and as you say google earth really is an eye opener on the "concretoupolis" ( I think you have coined a great phrase there) I have been following the news as to the reviewing the Article 24 of the Greek constitution and like you am dubious about politicians ability to seperate the needs of the environement from their pockets. There was an interesting article in ekathimerini about the Nea Philadelphia area and how this is being rebuilt, since 1999, with more sympathy to the area and without the concrete monstrosities, this gives some hope things are/will change.

Many things about Athens frustrate me, but I don't like being told that where I chose to live is the pits of the earth. There are good things to be found if one looks. for example this snippet is taken from wikipedia about central Athens "Athens is home to 148 theatrical stages, more than any other European city (including the famous ancient Herodes Atticus Theatre, home to the Athens Festival, which takes place from May to October each year).

As for the container port; I do have an interest in the port as I have buisness friends and aquaintances that import goods from China. So ontop of the jobs it will create in Crete (lets agree to disagree on this point. The argument will go around in circles othewise) it creates jobs in Athens. Also I own some land in Crete, so feel I have a right to a view on the port.
However, I'm not sure it will ever go ahead. Would you spend that much money in Greece when the operation of the business would be susceptible to the whims of the unions? I'm sure the last port strike did nothing for the investors confidence. Whilst not changing my views that this would be a good thing for Crete and Greece, I admire your convictions and dedication in such a matter.

As for the personal questions you ask. I don't need sympathy for living where I choose to live. Athens is my home from Monday to Friday as this is where my work is. The weekends are spent in our house by the sea, as most Athenians do. I holiday on various islands and the mainland as well as other countries.

#262 santo

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 12:54 PM

I don't know about anyone else but I think the views of two "Athenians" (1 born and 1 living) are compelling reading and shows how the proposed port can affect people so widely.
Thank you Guys.

:lol: :)
Santo

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#263 Assim

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:30 PM

Just as a quick note that may interest some people and because we somehow digressed from a container port to article 24 of the constitution. Which potentially have unknown connections. Today there is a report in the paper of the EU rebuffing the Greek plans for the constitutional amendment.

The European Union does not agree with Greece’s proposal to revise the country’s Constitution regarding the legal classification of forest areas, in a development that is likely to put the brakes on the controversial reform.


full editorial here

#264 Ton

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Posted 22 January 2007 - 04:32 PM

Yeah Assim, Glad to see that Mr. Doukas is objecting the constitutional change of Article 24. Still I believe that this summer we will see a lot of deliberate fires to clear trees for building plots.

In regards to the professors it's not an issue of discrediting them. I believe that they will do a good job, but the outcome of their study will be based on the ministry's objectives. If I would also pay them and ask them to study why the port would not be a good thing for the turtles or for the tourists or for the people who rent homes to the tourists, or for the fishermen, or for the archeologists, then they would come up with 1000 reasons why the port will not be such a good idea.

If the port will finally not be materialized, will not be because of the turtles or the archeologists but because a whole village (namely Agia Galini ) is in danger to be shut down. Agia Galini is very closely located to the planned area of the port. Several tourist investors in the area have also postponed or cacelled their plans (several hundred of thousands of Euro) pending on the outcome of the port. What we have here Assim is money vs money. If this issue is dragged longer more and more local people will find out how they will be cheated out of their income if this port goes ahead and more trouble will arise. The minister understands that he made a big mistake pushing Timpaki in the first place after a chinese visit but then was too late to backed down (he would loose his credibility, he already had made promisses to the Chinese) so he kept insisting despite the local outcry of the people. An Athenian paper to Vima reported in 2006 that he was not fired due to his friendship with another government minister.

Finally about Athens I admire the way you defended the place and I definetely agree with you its not the pits of the earth but a great city with long history and culture as well as having a great location. However us the ones who love this city should not close our eyes to mistakes but try to learn from these mistakes and correct them to the best of our capabilities.

Ton

#265 Ton

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 12:17 AM

The latest from Mesogios of today:

'The invitation for interest/bids to construct the port may be issued until this coming Easter as long as the Univesity feasibility study is expedited and completed soon and the green light is given from the local people to proceed.'

'Μέχρι το Πάσχα ,εφόσον ολοκληρωθεί άμεσα η μελέτη του ΕΜΠ για το λιμάνι του Τυμπακίου και δοθεί το πράσινο φως από τους κατοίκους της περιοχής για την επένδυση μπορεί να γίνει η πρόσκληση ενδιαφέροντος για την προώθηση του έργου.'

Kirie Eleison <_< :P

#266 Wim

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 12:34 AM

Right Ton,



Thing is I'm afraid He's on holiday and I'm sure not in Matala, let alone Crete <_<
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#267 Ton

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 01:09 AM

right!!!

#268 Ton

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 04:58 PM

The people of Agia Galini represented by their municipality officials stated that this port will not be built at this location. They declared regardless the study outcome and according to an article from today's Patris a civil war can be in the cards if the authorities continue to insist on building the container port.

As I have previously stated the longer this issue continues more and more people not only from Agia Galini but as far as from the villages of Kamilari, Kalamaki,Moires, Sivas Pitsidia Matala and north and west of Agia Galini will join forces to decisevely object the costruction of this industrial/anathema port. The people however made it clear to the authorities that a port in the south to serve tourism along with a marina for tourist and fishermen boats will be something to their interests and this is what the south needs.

Kirie eleison

#269 Retired in Crete

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Posted 23 January 2007 - 06:49 PM

I think that I have already made my views know on this subject (which have not changed) but may I make a couple of comments?

From Santo:
"I don't know about anyone else but I think the views of two "Athenians" (1 born and 1 living) are compelling reading and shows how the proposed port can affect people so widely."

This is exactly why any "referendum" should include asking the whole population of Crete, maybe even the whole of Greece, if the port should go ahead. The proposals affect the whole of Greece, the whole of Greece should vote on it! (Which they already have done by electing their representatives - the Government.)

From Ton:
"The people however made it clear to the authorities that a port in the south to serve tourism along with a marina for tourist and fishermen boats will be something to their interests and this is what the south needs."

What is the basis for saying this? You need hotels to serve tourists, not a marina as private yachts are almost non existant on the South West coast!

Final comment:
"The European Union does not agree with Greece’s proposal to revise the country’s Constitution "

At least Greece has a written constitution! Fat chance of ever getting one in the UK!

John
Cornwall - Great at any time of the year.

#270 Ton

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 03:02 PM

This is another reason why I think the University study will be biased.

The leading professor was heard to say in his recent visit in Timbaki:
(according to www.cretetv.gr)

'The study will also take into account the interests of the country'

#271 Julie

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 03:03 PM

Athens dirty, smog-ridden, park-less?

No.

I have spent several winter holidays in Athens over the last few years, most recently earlier this month, rekindling a love affair than began when I first went there in 1960. I love and am admittedly biased towards Athens, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt, but - yes, I really feel this - it is a truly beautiful as well as endlessly interesting city.

I am aware of the depredations of the 1960s and 70s, but though Athens may be 75% concrete and cement, how thrilling all that whiteness is in the amazing, clear Attic light (of which Athens gets much more now that improved public transport has to some extent solved the nefos problem). If I knew how to upload photos I would post one I took of the city from the Acropolis looking toward Lykavettos two weeks ago that would excite you, as the sight did me when I saw it. That was on 5 January, and that clear light continued for the next eight days. Halkiones meres - I was lucky.

Athens not green? Where are your eyes, Ton? Have you been to Athens recently? The archaeological park that, with the pedestrianisation of Apostolou Pavlou and Dionysiou Areopagittou embraces all the major archaeological sites, the Acropolis, the Agora, the Kerameikos and makes it possible to get to them and move about amongst them without ever seeing a car - is a green space like no other in the world (that I am aware of). On the beautiful inlaid paths made by that unique, inspired architect Dimitris Pikionis, and on dozens of other other earthen paths, you can walk for hours surrounded by greenery as well as ancient remains, right in the centre of Athens. And the National Gardens, the Areos Park, Lycabettos, the First Cemetery - beautiful oases all, the city's blessed green breathing spaces.

The stray dogs, the adespota, are friendly creatures (at least the ones I've met) going about their busy business in little packs, or sleeping peacefully in the streets, and grateful for a little affection. I like dogs, and am always glad to see these particular dogs. I'm aware of the problems caused by uncontrolled breeding, but for me the adespota of Athens are a lively, interesting, often funny aspect of life in Athens. Don't despise them. They are not all (indeed most aren't) disreputable and malnourished. My sense is that many Athenians feel as I do about them, and take care of them.

I admit there is a problem with car parking. It is not an insoluble one, it just needs a bit of thought, and maybe a few enforceable and enforced rules. But who would deny the vast improvement to traffic conditions generally that has been brought by the Metro? The Athens Metro system is without question the best - and the cleanest - in Europe.

I was born and brought up in New York, and I live in London. I love Paris. I like Berlin and Amsterdam. But for me, Athens is right up their with them all in terms of historical and archaeological interest, and way ahead of most of them in the sheer comfort of living there.

And if someone will tell me how to add photos, I will post some of beautiful Athens that will knock your eye out!

Ta leme

Julie

#272 Julie

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 04:05 PM

Re Athens, I ought to have said "the sheer comfort of being there (as a visitor)" rather than "living there", since I don't live there and of course do not know what it is like really to live there (but I'd jump at the opportunity to find out) <_<

And I meant to include Plato's Academy in my list of green spaces. A bit scruffy, but a large-ish, pleasant archaeological park.

And what no-one has yet mentioned, the abundance of places to sit and drink and eat simply, affordably, and well.

What more could anyone want in a city?

Julie

#273 Julie

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 04:16 PM

Here is Athens.

Attached File  IMG_0068.jpg   212.96KB   56 downloads

Attached File  IMG_0352.jpg   224.39KB   54 downloads

#274 santo

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 05:53 PM

John

your comment thus
"This is exactly why any "referendum" should include asking the whole population of Crete, maybe even the whole of Greece, if the port should go ahead. The proposals affect the whole of Greece, the whole of Greece should vote on it! (Which they already have done by electing their representatives - the Government.)

and specifically the last line including the words in brackets, I do not believe that voting someone into office gives that person carte blanche to agree or disagree with every policy, if that person has walked the streets and spoken to his constituents then he will have a good idea of "Generally" what his people want or don't want, .
I do not believe for one minute that he will vote for the general good, as history will and has shown that personal beliefs are often used and explains why things are pushed through when the majority are against it.
however as you put it a referendum should be held but individually not by block votes from a politician who may decide based on his biased feelings
Santo

It's not the number of breaths you take, it's the moments that take your breath away.

#275 Ton

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 06:42 PM

Julie,
you sound very romantic if I may say so and I have decided to let u preserve in your head those beautiful pictures of the 1960's Athens. I must tell you that I also preserve in my memory cells the same good pictures of those days. When in 1983 I saw the movie Tempest with John Kasavetes and seeing the contradiction between the sirenes and mad life of new York and the tranquility of life in a Greek island, I said to myself then. My City Athens will never become like New York. How wrong I was!!!

Santo,
you made a very good point above.

#276 Julie

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 07:42 PM

Ton, you may say whatever you like, and it's nice of you to "let me" retain my beautiful pictures <_< but do read my post again. My affection for Athens, which is enormous, stems from my first visit there in 1960, but the rhapsody above, provoked by your put-down of your home town, arose entirely out of my three visits two weeks, one year, and two years ago. The weather happened to be particularly good early this month, and everything looked great, which of course encourages a romantic view, but I loved being in Athens quite as much last January, when it was mostly grey, always cold, and occasionally wet.

There was a gap of 42 years between my first and second visits, unfortunately.

And what's wrong with New York - my home town? You seem to have a problem with cities. I like them. Especially Athens.

Take care, and do keep updating us on the Tymbaki port. I have appreciated your posts a lot.

Cheers,

Julie

#277 Retired in Crete

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:21 PM

Quote from Ton:
"This is another reason why I think the University study will be biased.

The leading professor was heard to say in his recent visit in Timbaki:
(according to www.cretetv.gr)

'The study will also take into account the interests of the country'

So if he takes into account opinions which (may) differ from yours he is biased?

John
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#278 Ton

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:31 PM

Yeah Julie I have problem with big cities. We used to sleep at night on the roofs looking at the stars and now we are exactly like Chicago and New York closed in with security doors and triple locks, scared if anyone will break in at night. Most people who visit the place see the tourist areas u mentioned above. I call them the screensavers of Athens. I dont simply like what my city has become. Now they bring the professors in Crete to justify the construction of an industrial port and degrade the area with all the good things ports bring with. I don't want to see a nice place like south Crete becoming the night district of the South. I dont like to see container ships in the bay of Komos polluting the sea and the beach. It's as simple as that.

Cheers

#279 Wim

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 08:50 PM

My opinion about the "Tymbaki Catastrophe" may well be known to those readers who digested all the 12.265 postings and 280 responses in this topic.
I think Christa had no idea what she'd bring upon our poor souls when she started it out of concern about this coming ecological disaster.

Whether you are against it or pro the discussion seems to have ended with the wish that the people of Greece, indeed also those stuck away on the tiny island of Gavdos whose horizontal view will be barred when disaster strikes, may have their vote count in this matter.

Considering this topic came to a political ending I hope that this short dissertation by Mark Moss about "democracy" may sharpen our views for the future of southern Crete. And the rest of the world :P


A Critical Account of Plato’s Critique of Democracy

Abstract

Plato was against democracy as a system of government, arguing instead that states should be ruled by philosopher-kings, who as true lovers of wisdom were best placed to know the essential nature of truth and justice and most capable of applying these ideas successfully in practice.

In this paper, Plato’s critique of democracy is discussed. While the validity of many of his arguments are acknowledged, his critique is rejected on the grounds that it is based upon models of human nature and society which are either too pessimistic or static for today’s modern and increasingly complex world. Also his distinction between philosopher and sophist is rejected through arguing that a key skill for politicians to cultivate today is the Aristotlean notion of phronesis or practical wisdom. Successful rulers, it is argued, have to reconcile knowledge of the general with the diversity that particular situations may confront them with. Such skills mean that both philosophers and sophists (as Plato defined them) would be ill-suited for political office.


Plato’s Critique of Democracy
Plato argued against democracy. His principal reasons for doing may be summarised as follows:

1. Democracy leads inexorably to “mob rule” with those in power pandering to “pleasure-seekers” whose principal goals are the satisfaction of their immediate desires.

2. Democracy leads to rule by the stupid (sophists), who while they may have fine rhetorical skills (that can exert some control over the masses) have no true knowledge itself.

3. Democracy leads to disagreement and conflict, which is something that is intrinsically evil and to be avoided.


Democracy leads to Mob Rule and Pandering to Pleasure-seeking
Plato’s view that democracy leads to mob rule has some ring of truth to it. In democracies today, leadership and ruling inevitably involve the assembling of coalitions and ensuring that their needs are met so as to remain in power. However one could legitimately argue, in a utilitarian fashion, that democracy should aim at satisfying the needs of the largest possible majority of citizens and that there is nothing wrong with this - so long as excesses of power and nepotism are avoided and the views of minorities are respected. In order to guarantee that such less favourable outcomes are avoided, one would need to ensure the existence of a free press, freedom of information laws and an independent judiciary – institutions that were not present in Plato’s time – as well as values which sought to respect the diversity of needs of the various groups within society.

Also while human nature often requires some immediate satisfaction of desire and “living for today”, this is not always the case. Under times of great hardship (e.g. war, economic slumps), people are often prepared to subjugate their immediate personal desires to social solidarity or a “greater good”, and then there is always conscience which often works against any instincts people may have to satisfy their own desires over others. Such altruism and reflective capability may have been ignored in Plato’s critique.


Democracy favours stupid rulers
Plato appears to assume here that most people in society apart from philosophers are of low intelligence. While this may have been the case in his time, systems of higher and further education mean that this is not necessarily the case in most of the developed world today. Therefore wider participation in political processes will not necessarily mean that stupid people end up in power.

There is also the question of whether lack of abstract knowledge means that one is automatically stupid. One could legitimately question whether the possession of abstract knowledge of truth and justice (detached from practice) is itself useful knowledge for ruling. What guarantee is there that rule by philosophers with much of this knowledge would be any better? One only has to look at philosophers in history and ask whether their actions (e.g. Heidegger’s early support for the Nazi Party) were wise, and made them likely of making good moral and political judgements if they themselves were in power. Perhaps skills such as empathy and communication (possessed by politicians such as President Clinton for example) are more useful for ruling than the possession of abstract knowledge about truth and justice? Also, Aristotle argued that a key skill for ruling was phronesis or practical wisdom – the ability to reconcile what was good for people in general with the need to take action in the light of particular situations i.e. reconcile universals with particulars. The possession of such a skill would mean that politicians would need to be intimately aware of both general abstract knowledge as well the details of particular situations (which could only come from being involved in practical, day to day affairs). Plato’s philosopher-kings, with their gazes rooted firmly in the forms, would be unlikely to have such skills. Indeed, democratic systems that successfully held politicians to account could be argued to be better at helping generate leaders with such wisdom than the kind of rule envisaged by Plato.

One can of course have some sympathy with Plato’s criticisms in this area when one views all the “spin-doctoring” and word-play that goes in politics today. However, such styles of speaking are easily dealt with by skilled journalists (John Humphreys for example) – so perhaps the danger from such rulers is reduced when such inquisitors are present.


Democracy encourages conflict
Plato’s observation that democracy invites conflict is undoubtedly correct in many situations. One only has to look at the behaviour of politicians on television to confirm this. However is this necessarily a bad thing? One could argue that human beings will never agree on exactly everything, that differences are inevitable - and indeed desirable if one values diversity and the possibility for innovation in social practices. Is it not preferable that such differences are recognised and dealt with – and in political arenas rather than military ones? History has shown that lack of democracy or its subversion by totalitarian or aristocratic regimes has often led to conflicts (e.g. the French and Russian revolutions) that may be far worse than the kinds of conflict encouraged by democratic debate. It could be argued that democracy helps moves conflicts from being resolved through arms to being resolved through dialogue, which is to be preferred as there is no (or much less!) violence involved.

Plato preferred static and hierarchical models of society, believing that everyone naturally had their place - and an abstract view of truth that located it within the timeless forms, far away from the particularities of human practices. In today’s world, culture is increasingly dynamic and changeable, social mobility is common and truth is now perhaps more pragmatically taken as being equivalent to that which seems to work on reflection. His critique presupposes stratified forms of society that no longer really exist in the developed world, and his view of truth has been superceded by pragmatist philosophies. What turns out to be true is the result of a society’s collective experimentation over time and the learning that has accrued from trial-and-error actions, embedded within cultural conventions.




Conclusion

So in conclusion, Plato’s critique is perhaps unrealistic given the kind of modern, post-industrial society that we live in today. We should recognise that there is no one best way to organise political life – different forms of democracy/government may be appropriate to different cultures and situations, and it is the task of skilful and reflective human beings to select systems that they believe are most appropriate to their situation, that distribute decision-making in ways turn out to work best on reflection.





Wim "Kouros" <_< kai efcharisto poli Mark
True is that adage: "He who yields to rule by wooden heads, becomes himself a fool."

#280 Ton

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:02 PM

John,

It has nothing to do with opinions. Its a free country and anyone can have different opinions. What I wrote above implies the following: in the study which weighs more. The turtles or the interests of the country? What would u say John?