Thursday, September 01, 2011

Thessaloniki city council in tree attack

It's that time of year again. The 76th Annual Thessaloniki Trade Fair approaches once again and the local political hacks, in order to look good for their political masters in Athen look to spruce up the city.

Usually, this takes the form of expensive vanity projects within walking distance of the trade fair and the hotel in which the prime minister and the rest of the cabinet stay. A tradition that the current PM is unlikely to break given the problems with public order that are caused every time high raking government official appear in public.

This year in order to do something the local town council has decided to lop down a number of fine old trees in the part near the hotel and build a "sculpture park".

In a time of direst austerity, in a city where one in four is without work and many do not have the money even to pay their power bills such vandalism and extravagance is a public slap in the face and yet another reminder of how far the country's political leadership is out of touch with the average voter.

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