The Greek government has acted in response to growing public concern at the rising level of air pollution over Athens.
LV PAN Athens seen from the Philoppapus Hill
CU Newspapers at kiosk announcing dangers of pollution (4 shots)
GVs Chimneys emitting smoke (5 shots)
GV Traffic in Athens street (2 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Greek government has acted in response to growing public concern at the rising level of air pollution over Athens. On Thursday (13 May), the Environment Ministry announced emergency measures including a ban on private cars and heavy vehicles within a six-point-five kilometre (4.5 mile) radius of central Athens. Factories, shown by recent research to be mainly responsible for polluting the atmosphere, have been ordered to cut production by up to 40 per cent. The measures are in keeping with a promise made by the ruling Socialist Party during last autumn's general elections. They then pledged to eradicate the pollution clouds which have become a regular feature of the Athens skyline. The world famous Acropolis is being eroded by the chemical-laden air. Pollution has risen as the population of the Athens-Piraeus area has mushroomed since Greek industrialisation got under way a generation ago. The government has warned that schools in the city centre may have to be closed for a month if pollution levels are not reduced. Long-term government plans include the gradual removal of many firms now in Athens to development areas in the provinces and stricter pollution controls on industry. Industrialists complain that the controls would leave them uncompetitive.