In a bid to make local authorities take responsibility for the country’s overflowing landfills and illegal dumps, the government will henceforth pass any fines from the European Commission for violation of waste management regulations on to municipalities and regional governors.
According to a joint decision by the Environment, Interior and Finance ministries, fines imposed on Athens from Brussels will be sent directly to the local authorities concerned. In cases where more than one authority is responsible – if, for instance, the landfill in question is located at the border of two municipalities – the fine will be split.
European authorities have repeatedly condemned Greece for violating waste management laws, imposing millions of euros in fines. Last month the European Court of Justice rapped Greece for degrading the nesting grounds of the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) on the Ionian island of Zakynthos.