NEWS

Zakynthos hotel ban legitimate

A 7-million-euro compensation suit against the Greek State by a hotel company that was prevented from building in a protected turtle nesting area on the island of Zakynthos has been rejected by the Council of State, in a decision made public yesterday. The company had intended to erect a large hotel complex on the islet of Marathonisi, in the Bay of Laganas on the southern part of the Ionian island. The Laganas area, which is the largest nesting area for the loggerhead (Caretta caretta) turtle in the Mediterranean, was designated a national marine park by Presidential Decree in 1999, and no building is allowed on Marathonisi. The hotel company tabled a 7.02-million-euro (2.39-billion-drachma) suit against the Greek State for lost revenues. But Greece’s highest administrative court found that restrictions applying to Marathonisi – including a 1990 ban on tourist development – are in line with the Greek Constitution and the Treaty of Rome that established the European Community, and serve the public interest.