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The Greek authorities decided to 2023 to completely abandon coal

Mining industry / Europe
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In Western Macedonia the decision to abandon the use of coal will lead to massive layoffs and billions in losses.

The Greek authorities decided to 2023 to completely abandon coal
Фото: ТЭС в Птолемеи / Анна Пантелиа

the Coal industry is one of the basic sectors of the Greek economy for the last 60 years. Deposits of cheap fuel in abundance are in Western Macedonia for decades serve as a source of affordable energy and thousands of well-paid jobs. But the Greek authorities decided to 2023 to stop the use of coal. This is stated in the story the TV channel Euronews on Thursday.

"the Closure of each CHP leads to a reduction of hundreds of jobs", — the correspondent of Euronews Simela Tahtib. "But the consequences will be even greater, as according to experts, each reduction in the market of electricity production will entail the loss of three jobs and in other spheres".

According to the industrial chamber of Greece, the rejection of coal will lead to a reduction of 25 thousand jobs, and the economy of the region will lose a billion euros.

"of Course, the protection of the environment and "green energy" — slogans of our time. We are concerned about the health of our relatives and children. But we do not agree with this sudden decision to stop work. This will reduce to zero all our efforts," says an employee of a local energy company Public Power Corporation Yannis Ioannidis.

Governor of the region of Western Macedonia Georgios Kassapidis sure that three years is not enough for the transition to new energy sources.

"We want the local industry is the production of electricity preserved. And since we refuse to use coal, it can be replaced by new technologies such as renewable, it fotoelektricheskie method and a thermal panel, solar energy, hydrogen energy, geothermal energy sources," - said the Governor.

According to the Minister of energy of Greek of Kostis Hatzidakis, if necessary, the government will seek EU assistance to support the region.

"the General plan sweat the abandonment of coal involves planning for the future. It includes the development of the industry of electricity production and organic farming, agritourism and industrial production. We want to ensure fair for everybody the transition period. We understand that the residents of Western Macedonia were born and grew up with coal. It is our duty to explain to them that their future can be different" - said the Minister.

In Germany and Poland coal mine will exist for many more years. Some of the inhabitants of Western Macedonia say that you need to apply the same approach to avoid the appearance of Ghost towns.

"there are no fields on which to engage in agriculture or cattle breeding. In this region there is only coal and nothing more. No railroad, no port. Would a large company invest in the development of the business if there is not even basic infrastructure?", says Yannis Facilis.

Until recently, Greece, along with Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic provided more than a third of world coal production. The Ptolemaic quarry in Western Macedonia is the largest in the Balkans and is still responsible for 30% of electricity production in the country.

Recall that January 2019 in Germany took state program a gradual abandonment of coal electricity generation until 2038. The Federal government has allocated 40 billion euros for funding energy transition the Federal lands that use lignite and coal in order to generate electricity.

Last mine of coal in Germany were closed in the Ruhr in December 2018. Today it imports coal from other countries, particularly from Russia.

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