For many years, petroleum has been the only source of heating houses and apartments in Greece, and only lately natural gas has become an option for big city dwellers. All the rest still depend on petroleum to keep their homes warm during the winter, especially at the northern regions of the country where the weather conditions are harsh.
But with petroleum prices skyrocketing to €1.40 per liter and given today’s scarce financial resources, people are forced to turn to other forgotten means of heating such as fireplaces and stoves. So, there is an unprecedented demand for firewood and even the government has intervened to prevent wet wood from being sold as dry. Trees on the mountains are being illegally cut down in hundreds to produce firewood for distressed citizens.
And lately there have been many incidents where olive groves were invaded during the night and the olive trees were sawed and vanished. There have been reports from Crete, Korinthia, Messinia and Euboea of farmers who were astounded to discover that their precious groves were destroyed. The damage for the olive oil industry as a whole is minimal, but the damage for the single farmer and family is huge, since they rely heavily on the olive oil they make to secure the year’s supply and even get an extra — and evermore important — income from selling some.
Among the many woes the crisis carries lies another no one could predict, and the perish of economic resources affects many aspects of our day-to-day lives as never before.