In post 2233 I informed our readers about the new -large scale- mineral water factory, that recently is build on the hills above Simonospetras by the Macedonian Bottling Company. This company started to build a factory in 2021 with the purpose to pump up and sell 48.100 liters of mineral water every year. In the precious post we spoke about our worries if this new company could keep the conditions, set under the Naura 2000 recognition of Athos. The Natura 2000 work on the forests around Simonspetras started as far back as 1991, under the previous ACE programme, when the monastery received co-financing for a project aimed at protecting its forest habitats. This led to a special forest management strategy and innovative techniques for soil protection.
I think it is time to make a protest against this large scale factory.
With the help of Athos-friends I found a website where you can complain about this invironmental unfriendly and unblessed enterprise. I filled in a form yesterday (although sending gave me some troubles). You can write your own complain HERE and I strongly ask you all to contribute. If many of us will raise their voices, maybe someone will listen and end this project before it is too late.
The most recent (31/3) information about the project can be read here (source Dogma.gr, in Greek use Google Translate).
Let us keep Athos intact as it was (as much as reasonably is possible) and keep this Holy place for the monks and the pilgrims, not for the establishment of big commercial companies. Please help us protest strongly against the arrival of (more) large commercial enterprises on the Holy Mountain, also to preserve the future of Athos and its environment. We must protect this distinctive and endangered European natural site. Maybe it’s not too late.
This is text that I used to describe my complaints: if you want you can use it, ofcourse you can make you own text.
- It should be forbidden to build this kind of large scale commercial industrial enterprises on the Holy Mountain. I fear a significant impact on the pristine nature on Athos and it is in a “Natura 2000” area, that prohibits the start of large and polluting companies on this spot!
- Secondly, this enterprize will need a large amount of energy to run such a large complex. The use of large (diesel?) power generators will pollute the area, whitch is – again – protected by Nature 2000 assumptions.
- This also counts for the effect on nature by the additional tranport of goods by trucks and boats.
- Near the factory the mountian and its hills are destroyed by bulldozers, this alone is an attack on Athos nature. A large part of the mountain somewhere above the monstary is completely cleared to build the factory!
- What will happen to nature of 48.100 liters of water is pumped up every year, it will have serious consequenses to nature surrounding the monastery I.M. Simonospetras.
- What will happen to Athos if Greek authorities will allow this kind of activities at other places on Athos in the future? How is it possible – to begin with – that this project is even authorized in the beginning? As said above, Athos a protected Nature 2000 and a Unesco World Herritage Site, where these kind of of big changes should not be allowed.
- And finally, there is great impact on nature and the invironment generally speaking by using PET-bottles.
- My demand:
This project should be stopped immediately and definitely. Simonospetras should use their spring water exclusively for themselves. Allowing this type of companies on Athos could well be a very dangerous development, according to me this development is NOT desirable or necessary.
If you can’t read Greek texts here is some help to fill in the form, with some screenshots in English from the Greek site, where you can file your complaints:
Below you can see the text that I used, except for my personal information: (the general information from the site Avatonwater.com). I used the photos that I shared in post 2233.
Good luck with writing your complains and please don’t wait too long to react, because the Avaton water company will be operating soon!
Wim Voogd, 7th of April 2022
Before I support this protest I also want to know the position of Simonospetras regarding this projekt.
The factory is situated on Simonospetras territory, I think this would not have happened without Simonospetras approval.
During my first visit on Mount Athos I learned that the water of every spring is “agiasma” (holy water). I think “agiasma” cannot be sold. What do you think about this?
Searching here https://vat-search.eu/vdSgJ_M+B+C+Macedonian+Bottling+Private+Company+I+K+E+%7C+M+B+C I found these are the correct information for the company. The rest of the VAT number is 192552 (I made a free account) so please update the complaint form accordingly because the other company is in Cyprus so the complaint to the Greek authorities is void.