Last update:
2021-06-02

Roma living next to a landfill under constant threat of eviction in Aspropyrgos, Greece

Roma are reportedly living in conditions of great negligence by the authorities and environmental harms; with a lack of water and electricity, as well as the constant threat of eviction and the presence of a landfill next to settlement.


Description:

The reported negligence of the Nea Zoi settlement in the municipality of Aspropyrgos (Greece), where many Roma people live, makes visible the lack of provision of basic services such as water and electricity, as well as the constant harassment, threat, and direct eviction of the residents [1, 2, 3, 5, 6]. This case is shown in a political context of discrimination, segregation, and harassment. 

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Roma living next to a landfill under constant threat of eviction in Aspropyrgos, Greece
Country:Greece
State or province:Periféria Attikís (Περιφέρεια Αττικής)
Location of conflict:Nea Zoi (νεα ζωη), Aspropyrgos (ασπροπυργος)
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Waste Management
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Water access rights and entitlements
Land acquisition conflicts
Landfills, toxic waste treatment, uncontrolled dump sites
Urban development conflicts
Water treatment and access to sanitation (access to sewage)
Specific commodities:Land
Domestic municipal waste
Electricity
Water
Industrial waste
Recycled Metals
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationSemi-urban
Affected Population:100-300 people
Start of the conflict:1999
Relevant government actors:Municipality of Aspropyrgos
Deputy mayor of Aspropyrgos in 2000
Mayor of Aspropyrgos in 2000
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:European Roma Rights Center
Greek Helsinki Monitor
World Organisation against Torture
NGO Klimaka
Elefsina Legal Support Center
Greek Ombudsman
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:International ejos
Local ejos
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Roma
Forms of mobilization:Involvement of national and international NGOs
Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Impacts
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Waste overflow
Potential: Air pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Health ImpactsVisible: Occupational disease and accidents, Infectious diseases, Other Health impacts
Potential: Other environmental related diseases, Malnutrition, Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Other Health impactsChronic diseases
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement, Lack of work security, labour absenteeism, firings, unemployment, Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Potential: Increase in violence and crime, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Outcome
Project StatusUnknown
Conflict outcome / response:Migration/displacement
Repression
Development of alternatives:There were no alternatives proposed for the Nea Zoi settlement and the platforms and associations working with them have not reported any alternatives either.
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:No
Briefly explain:Since the conditions of the settlement have not improved in more than 20 years and there seems to be no plan to do so I would not consider this case as a success.
Sources & Materials

[1] European Roma Rights Center (2003). ERRC/IHF: HARASSMENT OF ROMA IN GREECE.
[click to view]

[7] Alexia Tsagari (2020). Οι «αόρατοι» Ρομά της Νέας Ζωής και η πανδημία.
[click to view]

[8] Takis Skrivanos (2017). Ένα γκέτο που το λένε Νέα Ζωή (στον Ασπρόπυργο).
[click to view]

[2] World Organisation against Torture (2003). Greece: threat of unlawful eviction of a Roma community.
[click to view]

[3] European Roma Rights Center (2003). NEA ZOE ROMANI SETTLEMENT AGAIN THREATENED WITH EVICTION IN GREECE.
[click to view]

[5] European Roma Rights Center & Greek Helsinki Monitor (2003). CLEANING OPERATIONS: Excluding Roma in Greece.
[click to view]

[4] World Organisation against Torture (2004). Greece: The Roma and the preparation of the 2004 Olympic Games: ongoing violations of the right to adequate housing.
[click to view]

[6] World Organisation against Torture (2004). The Roma in Greece and the preparation of the 2004 Olympic Games: ongoing violations of the right to adequate housing.
[click to view]

[9] Christina Rougheri (2000). EXPEL FIRST: HOUSING POLICY FOR ROMA IN GREECE.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Berta Roset Pérez, Junior researcher in Environmental Justice ICTA-UAB. Contact email: [email protected]
Last update02/06/2021
Comments
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