Thursday September 18, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
27o C
20o 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)  
Loud patriotism
In need of a second wind
Democracy´s many guises and challenges
Lessons not learned
Police report identifies officers with ties to Golden Dawn
A year after the killing of leftist rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a Golden Dawn supporter amid allegations of links between the neofascist party and the Hellenic Police, a report by the force’s in...
Increasing number of mayors blocking contract reviews
The number of mayors refusing to comply with the government’s demand that they submit the contracts of all municipal employees who had their fixed-term deals turned into open-ended agreement...
Inside News
Very lucky punters set to be probed
The Hellenic Gaming Commission has forwarded some impressive data regarding the possible abuse of profits from games of chance to the anti-money laundering authority and the Financial Crimes...
London roadshow starts with record turnout
The Athens Exchange’s London roadshow got under way at Bloomberg’s headquarters in the British capital on Wednesday featuring 31 listed companies and with much better prospects than the prev...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Financial crisis forces Greek second division postponement
Greece's second soccer division Football League announced on Wednesday the postponement of the start of the season due to financial difficulties being faced by most clubs. "The board of dire...
SOCCER
Mitroglou rediscovers scoring touch after Fulham let-down
Costas Mitroglou banished the memories of his disappointing spell in England after breaking a 10-month goal drought as Olympiakos Piraeus secured a thrilling 3-2 Champions League win over At...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Very lucky punters set to be probed
2. London roadshow starts with record turnout
3. Banks set to request 6.1 bln under TLTRO
4. More efforts to cut the price of milk
5. Skiathos tops Greeks’ online summer holiday searches
6. IMF departure gets on the table
more news
Today
This Week
1. Loud patriotism
2. SYRIZA victory would spark a bank run, PM reportedly warns
3. Production of the new Pony to start by the end of the year, NAMCO says
4. Davutoglu calls for a two-state solution in Cyprus
5. Tsipras to meet with Pope Francis on Thursday
6. In need of a second wind
Today
This Week
1. Greece on standby
2. Avramopoulos appointed Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs
3. Central Athens traffic restrictions back in force on Monday
4. Greece at bottom of social justice scale among EU28
5. EU bank tests may miss trillion dollar risk, study finds
6. Lost in the fog
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.