The man responsible for identifying corruption in the civil service on Tuesday accused politicians of canceling out their own rules after it was revealed that the government passed a last-minute amendment in defiance of a court order for seven tavernas on Schinias beach, northeast of Athens, to be knocked down.
“We often see laws being bypassed by the same state that legislated them in the first place,” Public Administration General Inspector Leandros Rakintzis told Kathimerini. “All you need is one politician to pass an amendment and the law, in effect, becomes void.”
A late addition to the forestry bill passed through Parliament in July allows the tavernas, located within the boundaries of Schinias National Park, to continue operating even though the Council of State has ordered them to be knocked down.
There have been court orders to demolish the buildings since 1996 because they have been built within a protected area.
Outgoing Marathon Mayor Iordanis Loizos told Kathimerini earlier this month that the municipality has repeatedly shut down the tavernas following a final court decision in 2011 but the government has failed to proceed with the demolition of the buildings.
The amendment allows the buildings, which are owned by the Judges and Prosecutors’ Building Cooperative, to avoid demolition for at least another year. During that time, the tavernas can also keep functioning. When this period elapses, they will be allowed to move to another area of the national park, the so-called Zone B, where some commercial activity and buildings are allowed.
“Parliament can do anything except make a man a woman and a woman a man,” joked Rakintzis.