The European Commission said on Thursday it is taking Greece back to court for failing to close down dozens of illegal landfills and that it will impose a fine of 71,193 euros for each day that the debt-wracked country fails to comply with the judgment.
The move by the EC came eight years after the Strasbourg-based court convicted Greece for failing to stop the operation of hundreds of illegal landfills. Since then, the EC noted in a statement, Greece has made progress by closing many illegal sites and improving waste management systems in many areas. Still, 78 illegal landfills continue to operate and another 318 are being “rehabilitated.” The Commission also expressed concern about the Fyli landfill in northwestern Attica, which receives 90 percent of the capital’s waste, noting that the dump is “reaching imminent saturation and will have reached full capacity by the end of 2014.”
The second court ruling is unlikely to be issued before the end of next year, meaning that Greece will have until then to comply with EU regulations. Otherwise it will be obliged to pay a lump sum of 25-30 million euros – the accumulation of daily fines of 7,786 euros between the first ruling in 2005 and the second ruling. The daily fine will increase to 71,193 euros if Greece fails to comply with EU rules after the second ruling.
An EC spokesman told Kathimerini that Greece could create 16,000 jobs through through proper waste management.