Transnational encounter in Athens/Greece, September 2022
A colourful group of 17 people from Sofia, Berlin, Rome and Athens came together. They were volunteers, have fled to Europe from Afghanistan or Syria and/or are otherwise unable to travel because of a small purse.
The focus was on the consumption of CO2 through various modes of transport. For this purpose, the Greek colleagues distributed an overview with pictures of the underground, tram, bus, long-distance trains, airport, ship harbour and motorway. The question was: What is financed by companies, what is financed by the state? Does this influence the quality of the service? What options are there for reducing CO2?
The result was striking: in Greece, the intervention of the “Troika” in 2015 privatised most of the previously state-run infrastructure. The German FRAPORT runs the lucrative airports, the Piraeus port is 67% owned by a Chinese company, the management of motorways and national roads is in private hands. In contrast, Athens’ public transport is financed by the city. In terms of quality, no conclusions can be drawn about ownership. However, political control of the reduction of CO2 is made more difficult when a state cedes control to private parties, as the logic of profit maximisation is paramount with them.
The air pollution from cars was remarkable for the guests, as were the mini-oases and “pocket parks” to improve the air. They captured their impressions in photos and videos – and learned to work with a padlet on this occasion.