The production company behind a television reality show that shot an episode on the southern Peloponnesian island of Elafonisos last year was fined 3,000 euros on Tuesday for violating environmental protection rules.
The fine was imposed by the Peloponnese Regional Authority following a string of complaints lodged by eco-protection groups after the episode was aired on Greek television on December 7. In the episode, heavy duty vehicles were seen being driven across the island’s protected sand dunes.
Elafonisos is listed for protection under Natura 2000 and European legislation, and activities such as those seen in the show are “strictly forbidden in order to protect species from any disturbance and to preserve their breeding and resting grounds,” according to the European Commission.
While hailing Tuesday’s fine as an important precedent, several environmental groups said it is nowhere stiff enough to prevent similar violations in the future.
The company is also under investigation by a local prosecutor who will ascertain whether the incident constitutes a crime under Greek law.