Athens’ poor air quality lands Greece in the dock

Athens’ poor air quality lands Greece in the dock

The European Commission Thursday announced it was referring Greece to the EU Court of Justice over Athens’ poor air quality due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide, caused mainly by traffic and industry. 

Greece, it said, exceeded the limit values set by the EU’s ambient air quality legislation (Directive 2008/50/EC). This is the second time Greece has been referred to the European court in the last few months after action was taken in April regarding the same problem in Thessaloniki.

“Greece has continually and persistently exceeded the annual NO2 limit value in Athens,” the European Commission statement said, while noting a failure in adopting “appropriate measures to keep the exceedance period as short as possible.”

“The Commission therefore considers that efforts by the Greek authorities have to date been unsatisfactory and insufficient, and is referring Greece to the Court of Justice of the European Union.”

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