Jump to content


Member Since 10 Jun 2009
Offline Last Active Nov 03 2010 06:35 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Preveli Palm Forest Burned By Wildfires

03 October 2010 - 12:11 PM

Measures announced for scorched palm forest area on Crete razed by fire in August slated for reforestation

Three hectares of date palms were destroyed in the fire which ignited on August 22. [ANA]

Local authorities on the island of Crete announced earlier this week that the forest overlooking Preveli Beach on the southern coast of the island,
which was razed by a wildfire on August 22, has been designated for reforestation.
The area – known as Foinikodasos due to the large number of palm trees that once flanked
the Kourtaliotis River which reaches the sea at Preveli Beach – was the second-largest palm
forest on Crete, covering an area of 3 hectares. Measures announced by the Prefecture of Crete’s general secretary,
Thanasis Karountzos, also include a complete ban on grazing and all forms of camping in the area.
The Environment Ministry, meanwhile, has pledged funds for the rehabilitation effort and will be supervising the project
which is to begin within the next few months, adding in an announcement on its website
that it expects the reforestation to be smooth as the species of palm, Phoenix theophrasti (Cretan date palm), is robust and can easily be reproduced using cuttings. The fire that destroyed the palm forest was one of three blazes that began within a few hours of each other in southern Rethymno overnight on August 21.
Stoked by gale-force winds and temperatures in the high 30s, firefighters were unable to bring the blaze under control
before it almost completely demolished the forest. However, fire services were able to contain the blaze before it reached the historical Preveli Monastery further up the river gorge.
Local authorities, who attribute the blazes to arson, will also be examining why a 1.4- million-euro fire prevention
system which was approved in 2007 under a European Union program had not been put into operation.
In a statement following an inspection of the damaged site, environmental group WWF Hellas said that uncontrolled
tourism development also played a crucial role in the fire.
A scientific adviser for WWF Hellas, Kaloust Paragamian, told Skai that there were over 1,000 sunbeds, 50 to 60 pedal boats and numerous umbrellas on the beach that became fodder for the fire.
Paragamian also pointed to the existence of pine trees as possible culprits.
“Let’s go back 10 or 15 years when an area nearby [the palm forest] was planted with pines even though they had never existed there before. The pines and their pine cones ‘bombarded’ the palm forest; the fire would not have reached the palms had it not been for the pines,” he said.

In Topic: Container Harbour Back On The Agenda

28 August 2010 - 10:20 AM

If Mr. Ertel would have taken the time, during his holiday in Kalamaki, to dig in a little bit further in this matter, and not only reporting about what Mr. Ktistakis has to say, he would have found out that this “chinese harbor discussion” is closed and will be forever.
Greece has no authority to go over these matters without the approval of Europe. Twice already the European government has said no to this plans. The Komos area is a protected natural area and the Messara is an agricultural zone. For both area’s Greece receives every year hundreds of thousands euro’s of subsidies: for maintaining Komos as it is (the place where sea-turtles come to lay their eggs) and for the development of the Messara as an agricultural area. Therefore the harbor plan have been rejected. The Chinese are even not interested anymore in Timpaki as they now “possess” more or less the Pireaus harbor close to Athens.
Furthermore, the military airbase in between the Kokinos Pirgos harbor and the beach of Kalamaki will soon disappear. If Mr. Ktistakis should have talked with his fellow members of the Pasok party (who is in charge now), he could have known that the municipality of Timpaki (under which Kalamaki resorts) has made an application to Athens to fill in the free coming area as a “Touristic Zone” together with the Kalamaki beach area and all the way to Agia Galini. This means that a larger hotel infrastructure will be possible. Most of the hotels and pensions in Kalamaki were build illegally in their time (a lot of them are regularized now, but some still don’t have their EOT-license!) but can only have a maximum capacity of 29 rooms, because they are situated in a “non-touristic zone”. Transform the area in a touristic zone would change that, and for sure attract bigger players on the hotel market. Maybe Mr. Ktistakis should be more afraid of this then from his “harbor fantom”.
Anyway, I personally think that some “positive” publicity is much needed as we talk about developing tourism in this area. Negative comments like this article in Der Spiegel are not doing any good to anybody!

In Topic: Tourism Must Be Protected

19 August 2010 - 11:00 AM

Dear Graeme,

The people who know Crete, will not stay away, but the ones who have never been on the island will not be attempted to come and will probably choose for another holiday destination (like Turkey for instance).

I do not agree with your statement that the Turks are a most unfriendly bunch of people.
You can not generalize because (maybe) you have met some unfriendly Turks.
I personally know a lot of well educated, friendly, cosmopolitan Turks and at the other hand, I also know a most unfiendly bunch of Cretans too, after 6 years living now on this island.

In Topic: Eating In Iraklion - Trying Again

30 July 2010 - 05:34 AM


In Topic: Tourism Must Be Protected

28 July 2010 - 09:59 AM

Greece is now destroying tourism in their own country.
Next year more people will go on holiday in Turkey, avoiding all the problems they face in Greece.
Well done Greece!

No letup in truck strike

In Halkidiki, where some 100,000 tourists are currently on vacation, there was no fuel available at all. The shortages prompted the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) to warn of the damaging impact that the strike is having on the tourism sector. There are concerns that prospective visitors from neighboring Balkan countries who were planning to use their cars to come to Greece will cancel their trips. It is expected that private coaches carrying tourists already in the country to various destinations will start to run out of fuel from tomorrow. KTEL intercity buses are thought to have enough fuel to last them until next week.

source: Ekathemerini, today