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A few days ago I ran an article headlined “Greece – Tree theft on the rise in order to keep warm.”
However, there was some question as to whether the illegal logging is being done for heating purposes or for use as building materials.
“It’s mainly for heating,” says reader Juergen. “A Reuters story from last year confirms it.”
According to the Reuters story, “illegal logging has surged in Greece, as households suffering five years of recession hoard wood to burn during the cold winter days in the place of expensive heating oil.”
“Once a symbol of poverty, the lowly wood burning stove is making a comeback among cash-strapped Greeks horrified by the soaring costs of central heating as winter begins.”
Two weeks ago, the Wall Street Journal also confirmed it. “Greeks Raid Forests in Search of Wood to Heat Homes,” said their headline on 11 Jan 2013.
Lots of photos
Meanwhile, reader Argiris Diamantis found yet another confirmation, with lots of photos.
The article is entitled “Incredible illegal logging in Trílofon, Grammou Kastoria.”
In this article is a picture of an Albanian man transporting the stolen trees using a donkey.
“By cutting the trees into smaller pieces that can be transported with donkeys or small trucks, the potential use for building purposes becomes very limited,” Argiris points out. “For building purposes the trees should be cut into much larger pieces that can only be transported with large trucks (and the poor Albanians do not have those). Even if they had large trucks, the thieves would risk these trucks to be confiscated when they would be caught by the police.”
Although creating berms has successfully blocked the passage of vehicles from neighboring Albania, the article says, the problem remains because citizens continue to illegally enter Greek territory with animals and sell the wood on the Greek market.
Five mules with timber were seized yesterday in Trílofon, while the illegal Albanians loggers fled.
According to aerial views, from 2003 until 2007 there was no problem in the forest. But since 2007 in Trilofos until today (aerial 2) about 3,500 acres have been cut.
Thanks to Juergen and Argiris Diamantis for these links
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