Shock in front of the “ruin” of EVZ in Plati

By | April 30, 2023

Words are scarce in the face of photos that capture the extent of the destruction at Greece’s largest sugar factory. The pride of the Macedonian plain since 1962, the investment of Konstantinos Karamanlis that stood for 60 years and was handed over in 2019 by the Mitsotakis government to the “investor” Serrai -what a historic sarcasm, really-, ready for the production of Thousands. tons of sugar, today it does not exist! As there is no more beet crop. As in four years no grain of sugar has been produced.

When on 2.2.2023 under the headline “Organized crime in sugar” the “Ef.Syn.” uncovered the undercover operation of the Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime in the Platys property and we transferred to the team the reliable information about the robbery, we cannot even imagine what the photographs show. And since photos often “mislead”, we investigated what exactly they represent. Information about the power plant literally disappearing gave the recorded destruction biblical dimensions.

But two key parts of the multi-billion dollar factory that no longer exist are the beet washer and the extractions. As we have explained (“Ef.Syn.” 3.2.2023, “Beet growers cry in Central Macedonia”), the extractions are the part of the factory where the sugar from the beet is dissolved in hot water, thus creating the raw material pulp that with further processing will give us pure sugar. They were huge complexes with a daily extraction capacity of 9,000 tons of beets, entirely made of stainless steel, made up of mechanical equipment and a lot of automation. His current sad state is shown in the revealing photos. The damage here is also estimated in the many millions. For comparison, we also include photos of the situation before 2019. The comparison only brings tears.

What today’s report captures is nothing more than the refutation of the government narrative of “investment” and “development” or “interest” in the country’s primary sector of dramatic and painful proportions for the national economy.

Experts in the construction of industrial facilities of similar size told “Ef.Syn”. that the Plati factory requires an investment of 150 million to be active again. Words are also superfluous if we take into account that Platy, like the other EBZ factories, were in this situation due to… a loan debt with Piraeus Bank of 160 million!

What do ministers Adonis Georgiadis and Nikos Papathanasis have to say who, as we have read, are touring the country promoting… development? What does Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have to say? Could it be that once again such a disaster was not known to him, who otherwise “always listens and listens”? What does the Vice Minister of Finance Apostolos Vesyropoulos, who also comes from Imathia and bragged a few days ago that he was reopening the Police School in Naoussa, have to say?

And unfortunately that is not the only bad news. Just over a week ago it was reported that the price of sugar hit an 11 year (!) high with the raw sugar contract rising to 24 cents a pound while demand rises and production falls globally due to the adverse weather for crops. .

However ignorant one may be, one can easily imagine where the price of sugar is going to go in our country, which is now forced to import all the sugar it consumes, which is estimated at approximately 250,000 tons. Good news for importers who can count on one hand (among them the ND “investor”).

Last but not last. The information insists that after the summons of the EBZ management and the raid of the Organized Crime Prosecutor’s Office in Plati, the Bank of Central Macedonia (Serron, as it is known and rumors constantly want it to be acquired by another bank), who was the first lessor of the Plati and Serres factories, together with the EVZ management, proceeded to evict the “investor” sub-tenant Christos Karathanasis.

It is impressive that, while the rumors spread in Serres, the relevant information has never been confirmed or denied in the local press. In general there is silence and everyone pretends they don’t know anything about the crime, as if they don’t have to give public explanations, which they should have given a long time ago. And it is that perhaps it has not been understood that EVZ is public property and not a private company.

Former employees also claim that several million worth of spare parts were in the warehouses. Can anyone assure us that they didn’t make wings? Anything that looked like steel seems to have “vented”. The total damage is estimated at more than 150 million. Those who caused this disaster like that and those who covered them for three years must say something, explain. But for three years they have been looking for and the official who will demand responsibilities from the management of EBZ, the Piraeus Bank, the Cooperative Bank that show that they are surprised and that they did not know what is happening, has not yet been found. .

And what to say about the local rulers of Imathia, the peasants themselves, the former workers and the residents of the area who do not react (except for the few who had received and… warnings) and do not talk about what is happening . passing in front of them! And of course, since they don’t care about their place, why should anyone else in Athens care?

The strangest thing is that even at the time of writing these stories, information was arriving that insists that the disaster continues as if nothing had happened. Nothing surprises us anymore where we have arrived (we would write about the need for some control, but there are no more police officers from the Universities and the new batch of bailiffs from neighboring Naoussa have not yet come out. Let them be sent to Plati for a lesson and not to popular markets where grandmothers sell trinkets without receipts).

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