Thursday December 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
17o C
10o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Concrete measures

By Nikos Xydakis

The government’s decision to submit draft legislation on key environmental issues during the Parliament’s summer session has raised a fair amount of controversy. Most prominent are the bills on coastal development and construction on forestland.

First of all, it is not clear if the measures are outlined in the so-called prior actions mandated by the country’s foreign lenders in exchange for the next tranche of bailout funds. Secondly, the bills have also sparked reactions among deputies as well as coalition ministers. Speaking on the coastal bill, for example, Environment Minister Yiannis Maniatis said earlier this week that there is no need for fresh legislation. What is needed, he said, is rules to clearly define the Greek shoreline.

Meanwhile, New Democracy MP Dionysia Avgerinopoulou, who is also chairwoman of the Parliament’s environmental committee, said that the forestland bill runs against the Greek Constitution. During a parliamentary debate on the subject, the bill came fire from all sides, including from the Technical Chamber, the Geotechnical Chamber, the Forestry Association, and the Greek chapter of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The bill effectively surrenders forests to developers, they said.

Objections to the deregulation of Greece’s shoreline have also been widespread, spontaneous and have cut across party lines. Citizen groups first reacted in the runup to May’s elections and criticism has continued to escalate despite rumors that the government plans to withdraw the measures. This is probably because most people speculate that the government will only bring back the bill in disguise.

Why is the government so keen to dismantle the country’s environmental safeguards? Conservative MP Adonis Georgiadis has one answer: “Hang on guys. We have the world’s longest coastline. Why not make some cash out of it?”

I’m afraid that the argument Greece needs to raise some cash is not the answer to the pressing need for recovery. That is not the way to do it. We have already seen Spain sacrifice its coast to cement, and it doesn’t look good. And it makes no sense to declassify forestland to make way for waste management facilities or large hotel complexes when there are thousands out there that remain unsold.

Unchecked construction was one of the reasons that led to Greece’s derailment. We did not produce wealth and added value, but bubbles.

We will never recover by repeating past mistakes.

ekathimerini.com , Saturday Jul 26, 2014 (15:34)  
Europe´s drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
A pointless battle
Good sense must prevail
To keep Turkey democratic, tie it closer to EU
Merkel says Russia sanctions to remain unless Putin yields; Greece´s prospects ´better than two years ago´
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said economic sanctions imposed on Russia remain “unavoidable” as long as President Vladimir Putin doesn’t yield on Ukraine. Merkel defended Ukraine’s right t...
Kammenos maintains firm position, says general election is ´one-way street´
Panos Kammenos, leader of the anti-bailout Independent Greeks party, on Thursday said he maintained his firm position of not voting in favor of Stavros Dimas, the coalition government's choi...
Inside News
Eurozone bond yields fall as ´patient´ Fed pleases investors
Eurozone bond yields fell on Thursday after the U.S. Federal Reserve struck a more cautious tone than many had expected as the world's largest economy mulls raising interest rates. As predic...
Stores will open on Dec 28, but traders aren’t too happy about it
It has emerged that commercial stores will be officially allowed to open on the last Sunday of the year, December 28, as the Development Ministry submitted an amendment to its multi-bill in ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
Pappas helps Greens overcome Aris
An impressive Nikos Pappas averted an upset by Aris and ensured Panathinaikos retained its perfect record on Tuesday, one day after Olympiakos thrashed Panionios at Nea Smyrni for the Basket...
´Wee Jay´ and idol Georgios Samaras receive Greek sports journalists´ award at Athens gala
A 10-year-old Irish fan of Greek striker Georgios Samaras was in Athens on Monday at the invitation of the Greek Sports Journalists' Association, which honored outstanding achievements in sp...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Merkel says Russia sanctions to remain unless Putin yields; Greece´s prospects ´better than two years ago´
2. Kammenos maintains firm position, says general election is ´one-way street´
3. Eurozone bond yields fall as ´patient´ Fed pleases investors
4. Election looms as Samaras fails to win vote for president
5. Stores will open on Dec 28, but traders aren’t too happy about it
6. More Britons and Americans eyeing Greece for vacations
more news
Today
This Week
1. Election looms as Samaras fails to win vote for president
2. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
3. Eurozone bond yields fall as 'patient' Fed pleases investors
4. Kammenos maintains firm position, says general election is 'one-way street'
5. Merkel says Russia sanctions to remain unless Putin yields; Greece's prospects 'better than two years ago'
6. High stakes
Today
This Week
1. Juncker warns Greeks against voting 'extreme forces' into power
2. Romanos and the dilemma
3. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
4. A friendly yet firm message from Pierre Moscovici
5. East Europe scrambles for energy after Putin kills South Stream
6. Anarchist Nikos Romanos ends hunger strike
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.