The decision by Kalamata’s city council earlier in the week to suspend their 5G pilot program on the grounds that it could be a health hazard has caused widespread condemnation in Greece.
At a time when the rest of the globe is in the midst of the fourth technological revolution and major cities around the world are introducing 5G internet, Kalamata seems to be turning the clock back and surrendering to techno-phobia.
Kalamata would have been the very first Greek city to have a 5G network.
After a heated, three-hour-long debate, the decision to suspend the program was carried by 16 votes to 13. The majority who protested the advanced wireless technology claim that their city’s population would become guinea pigs, with possible serious repercussions for public health, including, some say, on fertility rates.
A leaflet distributed in the city before the vote claimed that the “application of high levels of radiation will be able to ‘sterilize’ Kalamata citizens, apart from the other adverse effects on health, and will give a shocking blow effect to our city, thus contributing to the overall demographic problem of Greece.”
Citizens attending the Council meeting welcomed the voting results with applause and cheers, declaring that this was a “first victory.”
“Wind,” the telecommunications company behind the pilot program, expressed its disappointment with the city council’s decision. In a statement it said that “techno-phobia and digital illiteracy threaten to take us back decades.“
The company added that although everyone recognizes that the fourth industrial revolution, featuring the development of new generation fiber optic networks and 5G, has already begun, Greece “may miss the train.”
“Our country needs investment, needs perspective, vision and determination to stop the brain drain,” the statement added.
The citizens of the city of 70,000 in the southern Peloponnese are not alone in their fears about the 5G network, although negative health impacts associated with the new communications system have not been scientifically proven to exist.