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Greenpeace condemns controversial coastal development bill

Environmental group Greenpeace has condemned a controversial bill designed to lift restrictions on construction along the country's shoreline.

“Enough is enough. The coastal bill must be withdrawn without a second thought,” Greenpeace said.

“Protecting and exhibiting the [Greek] shoreline is key for the country's biggest industry which is tourism. That should be the government's aim in order to improve the national economy,” the organization said.

The bill, which has been prepared by the Financed Ministry, lifts all current restrictions on the maximum area designated for beach concessions – such as bars, umbrellas and sun loungers – while abolishing the right to unhindered access to the coast for the public.

The proposed measures would also facilitate permanent constructions on beaches for commercial purposes, while making it possible for businesses to pay fines to legalize unlicensed constructions.

Earlier this week, WWF Greece wrote to Greek MPs urging them to block the bill.

The ministry claims that the new framework will delineate the Greek coastline and simplify construction on and management of coastal areas.

Public consultation on the bill, launched during the Easter break, has been extended to May 13.

ekathimerini.com , Thursday May 8, 2014 (11:00)  
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