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Santorini monks take on NATO

Santorini monks take on NATO.

The NATO towers surrounding that top Profitis Ilias mountain on the have long been an ugly eyesore. Visitors to the mountaintop monastery enjoy the views over the holiday island but complain of the ugly clutter of NATO radio towers and electronics dishes. Now the monks of the neighbouring monastery say they have had enough as the towers gets a modern upgrade.

The monks of the Elias Profitis Monastery have complained at plans to install new NATO radar dishes next door.

In an announcement that they will fight plans the monks claim the installation of new radar dishes will turn Santorini into a target for terrorists.

And they claim that new building work is going on without proper building permits and that little heed has been paid to environmental impact assessments which list the area as a place of great natural beauty.

The 300-year-old monastery perches on top of the highest mountain on the holiday island of Santorini and that makes it a regular destination for visitors.

Most tourist love the views but condemn the array of radio towers and clutter of radio dishes which overshadow the monastery and spoil the views.

In former times, the monastery possessed great wealth and even ran its own ship. It was also active intellectual centre and even ran a school where the Greek language and literature were taught.

But the monastery went into decline and suffered serious damage in the earthquake in 1956. Today, most of the monastery is closed to the public but there is a small chapel next to it that people can visit.

Panoramic views from highest point on the island are terrific. But the backdrop of radio towers, power lines and an ugly army base is a great disappointment to visiting tourists.

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